After family staycations at the Embassy Suites, my twin sister and I thought “happy hour” was actually called “happy time”. Often, we’d take these trips in the fall. Rachel, my brother Joshua and I would swim for hours. We’d leave the warm indoor pool only to procure Shirley Temple and popcorn refills. We’d sloth on the walls of the pool, shoveling buttery goodness into our mouths. As leaves crunch and the weather crisps, it’s easy to get nostalgic.
Rachel and I were able to revisit that memory. We celebrated our birthday at the River Walk’s Embassy Suites last weekend. People in front of and behind us at the bar were maximizing their complementary “happy time” orders with as much wine and beer as they could. “Make that two Shirley Temples please,” Rachel said. The woman looked incredulous. We explained, “it’s our birthday, we are celebrating.” That didn’t fix her confusion, but my margarita order helped. We didn’t explain how we just received some tough news. How alcohol wasn’t going to make us feel better. But childhood in a cup, well it was a start.
I think about how I was filled with gratitude for her as we sipped those sweet beverages. As I sit down to write Brave Tutu’s Thanksgiving piece, I picture my sister in front of me. I can almost taste bubbly sprite and cherries.
So yes, to the confusion of the bartender, Rachel and I celebrated our birthday early and with plenty of grenadine. In my mind, we also shared an early Thanksgiving. After all, that holiday is a mixed of loved ones and comforting tastes. The flavors of familiar mingle with the gratitude and, despite life’s circumstances, it’s a “happy time.”
That thankful blanket won’t tarp out all the elements; “pass the potatoes” doesn’t cue perfection. Just as the news we received will not be resolved by Thanksgiving, families can’t check the complexities early November and simply pick them up pressed on January 1.
At any restaurant, I’ll still order cherries with my beverage,,even after I hear people say, “I just don’t like that fake taste.” While I understand what they mean— the sweet maraschino flavor is anything but fake to me. It’s a real reminder of simple bliss shared with a family I love. Thanksgiving or otherwise, what is a taste that brings about gratitude for you?
Your Brave Tutu (You’re brave, too-too!)
-Take courage in delight. Discover power in small moments.