When I first sat down to write my column it was before the events of Nov. 10 in the Richmond Hill subdivision. I had a great column prepared about the outpouring of volunteerism in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and I felt that was a timely tie in to Thanksgiving.
Then Saturday happened, and my perspective changed. Maybe it was too close to home; maybe it was because I knew one of the people who lost their lives.
Regardless of the reason, I felt that this column and on this day needed to focus on our area, our home.
I cannot imagine how these displaced people are feeling when you have to have an escort just to get a few things from your own home.
The work hours lost, the treasured keepsakes damaged, and the worry that they are all feeling. I am not sure how their children have handled this, I am sure mine would be a wreck.
To endure an event such as this, one you don’t see coming and cannot possibly prepare for, is life-changing. What I saw immediately after the event certainly changed mine.
People from all over the area, strangers to these people, immediately came together to see how they could help. How they could lend a hand of assistance however big or small.
Whether it was to calm fears or give a shoulder to cry on, countless people stepped forward to help without being asked.
Food was donated, supplies, rides to work and school all in the name of the greater good. You just never know when this can happen to you, so pay it forward.
After the week of the elections and the country became polarized, I was worried there had been a shift.
A change in how we may treat each other. Emotions were running high and I am sure, as many have seen for themselves, opinions were shared that you just can’t take back.
All of that seems second fiddle now to this. Random catastrophic events can happen to anyone, and it is good to know that there are so many people who will step forward to help like they have this week.
So when I shared with my kids this week what I was thankful for this year I added a new one to my list.
Alongside our health, our home, and our employment I added the kindness of others. The generosity that is shown, it is out there. Kindness comes in all shapes and sizes, and this year I think we have it in spades.
So on Thanksgiving when you share a meal with family and friends, take a minute to savor how truly fortunate we really are. Really. When you peel away all of the superficial layers you may see that you are one lucky duck!
I know I am certainly thankful for all of you, your continued support and interest in this column and your love of food, family and traditions.
I hope you give this easy side dish a try. It will be a winner on any holiday table and it is easy to make to boot.
Heather Tallman lives in the Center Grove area and writes the cooking blog Basilmomma. Send comments firstname.lastname@example.org.