Our house by the sea has been filled with family and friends for over a week. In the dark of early morning we drove my sister, Kathleen, to SFO and hugged her goodbye, making sure her handbag was stuffed with turkey sandwiches for the long flight to the east coast. Ron and I have a ritual of stripping the bed and remaking it in the guest room, collecting the towels and linen used by guests and throwing them in the laundry. Next we rearrange furniture back to its "home" location, folding throws and rearranging pillows, etc. The counter in the bathroom is now strangely empty of the signs of guests toothbrushes and hand cream, etc. There is a peacefulness in returning the house to its default setting, ridding the counters and side tables of items that had rested along with our familiar stuff. This well loved chair from Ikea gets moved around the house when company is here. It is added to the "tv room" when folks watch a football game or holiday movie. Other times it sits looking out at the ocean. Today we've had early morning rain.
As I write this the house is so quiet. The only sound is our Good Hope Farm clock ticking in a simple rhythm. Quiet means a lot to me. It is a balm and blessing. The joys of family, feasts, laughter and celebration are what makes Thanksgiving a time of happiness. The silence after the family leaves feels restorative. And soon to fold the last of the laundry and place it in the closet.