Several days after the last visitors have departed and turkey bones have been boiled into stock, the scant leftovers of cranberry relish are barely enough to redden half a sandwich. Bowls scrubbed, crumbs swept, and Pilgrim-themed napkin holders (which my nieces colored in 2nd grade) packed away in a box, it’s time to declare Thanksgiving officially over. And yet a pleasant feeling remains, like the smell of biscuits still rising in the oven. It’s the gratitude that lingers.
I missed the chance to write this in time for Thanksgiving. But the opportunity to reflect on, and express, gratitude isn’t confined to a single Thursday of one wintry month.
This has been a big year for me, and I have plenty for which to be thankful. Markets of Paris is doing well. I’ve been given the opportunity to speak to wonderfully engaged audiences, who have taught me about their own experiences as I shared with them mine. I’m grateful to everyone who has purchased the book, whether for their own use or as a gift for a friend or relative planning a trip to Paris. I’m grateful to those who have shared feedback and sometimes photos and stories following their own market excursions. And I’m delighted by the growing number of followers for the book on Facebook and Twitter. I started out as a technology “newbie.” While I still have tons (yes, it often feels crushing) to learn, it’s been gratifying to connect with people from literally all over the world who share an interest in food, culture, and seeking out local markets. I’m grateful to the bookstores and boutiques that carry the book, bloggers who mention it, writers and journalists who feature it, and more. I’m grateful to the incredible people I’ve met along the way–farmers, artists, chefs, local residents, and fellow travelers–who have shared their tales and talents. I cannot begin to recount the many acts of kindness that have been extended to me throughout this grand adventure, but I am humbled and grateful for them all.
I’m especially grateful to my family and my friends. It sounds corny and yet it’s absolutely true. They are the ones who have made this possible. My husband Michael has been with me every step of the way. We have wended our way from boulevard Raspail to night markets of Taiwan in search of local specialties. And the journey continues.
Next year is shaping up as another big one, having just signed a new book contract. With an equal mix of nervousness and excitement, I am grateful for the chance to continue doing work that I love. Traveling to, writing about, and photographing markets in various places is a dream come true.
And so I want to say to you–my family, friends, readers, helpers, teachers, and followers–sincere thanks for your support and kindness. I am deeply grateful. It’s a glow that shines brightly well beyond the last crimson smear of cranberry sauce disappears.