Thanks Be to Pie

This was my family’s first Thanksgiving without my dad.  He passed away earlier this year and I miss him.  The holidays hold especially happy memories for me as my dad really loved the specialness of “the season” and indulged my enthusiasm for decorating, merrymaking, gift giving, and all things festive and bright.  This year, I made a homemade pecan pie in his memory.  This may not seem terribly noteworthy except that one of my dad’s favorite pastimes was pie making.  He made pies throughout the year and come holiday time the number of dough balls rivaled the number of ornaments on the tree!  That may be a slight exaggeration, but there was a lot of dough being made and he turned all of it into something delicious: pecan, pumpkin, chess, lemon meringue, cherry…they all gave him great pleasure and, turns out, left quite a legacy.  My family received pictures via text from loved ones showing us their pie making efforts – some going at it for the first time and others carrying on their own pie traditions while sending a shout out to dad.  Pretty special.

I’m not surprised that people remember my dad and his pies – after all, many were the happy recipients of his creations.  What strikes me, though, is that he filled his time in so many other ways beyond baking pies.  Outside of his decades long career in journalism, he traveled, read myriad books, and participated in any number of clubs/groups that peaked both his intellectual curiosity and appetite for mixing and mingling with people of different minds and interests.  He was actively involved in his community, and, in general, an avid go-see-do kind of a guy.  People remember him for who he was, what he did, and what he contributed, for sure, but at the end of the day his love of homemade pie has created ripples.  What that says to me is that my dad brought joy into the hearts of many and of all the various ways he is remembered, pie best encapsulates what drew us to him: simple goodness, complex in its structure, and always leaves us wanting more.  

My wish for all of you this holiday season is a delicious piece of homemade pie – yes! But more than that, I hope you’ll make room for joy.  Whether you give it, receive it, or both…savor its bounty.  It really is the gift that keeps on giving.