This is another one about my grandmother. Today I’m thankful for tofurkey.
We had a family do recently. I asked my grandmother if she’d be willing to make a few vegetarian things. I offered to bring a couple if was easier for her. (I have to eat carefully because of an autoimmune issue. I don’t do it to be difficult, and I really try to be flexible-eggs, dairy and honey.) My people are “meat and taters” folks from way back so I stand out a bit. She said she’d do just fine.
Wouldn’t you know it, but everything (except the giant ham) was vegan. My grandmother outdid herself and I was gobsmacked. There were six of us, including me, and she’d bought a ham that weighed about 5 kilos (roughly 11 pounds). It was bigger than my head. She kept teasing my grandfather that it wasn’t properly carved but he pointed out that he was satisfied getting it to the table in one piece. They found a tofu loaf for me. It was pretty tasty. I felt very loved.
Today I’m thankful for maps and cartography.
I’m a map lover since childhood. My late grandfather used to watch me before I started primary school. He taught me numbers and letters. My favorite times were when he would bring out his old atlas and Bible and show me where the named places actually were. I’m irreligious, so that aspect clearly didn’t last, but I’ve been enamored of ancient geography for as long as I remember. It’s because of him that I know the location of “Ur of the Chaldeans” (the stated home of Abraham) and I know how to say “Chaldean” (Kal-dee-uhn, for what it’s worth).
I studied geography at a post-graduate level. Doing so enabled me to delve into the movements of people through history, examining how culture and language evolve through migration. I also learned skills enabling me to pay my bills so it wasn’t all vanity study. Maps can be incredibly beautiful, and place is a fundamental concept. I still have his atlas, in case you wondered.
By Michel Wolgemut, Wilhelm Pleydenwurff (Text: Hartmann Schedel) (Own work (scan from original book)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons