As promised, the new building crew hit the ground running the next morning. Fortunately, these folks liked working with one another. And, within a week, the building began taking shape.
“Look at that,” Sal said to Dan as they passed the new crew working away. “Happy workers.”
“Big yay,” Dan said. “We’ve finally got some good folks.”
Listening to their laughter, Sal added, “And fun folks.”
“Just in time,” said Viv, who overheard them. “It’s going to be winter soon.”
In the kitchen, Nancy and Will were baking away.
“I love this time of year,” Nancy said.
“The cooler weather?” Will asked. “The changing leaves?”
“All that,” Nancy said. “But especially all the excuses for making more pies and fruit breads.”
“Well, yeah,” said Darren, coming in to pick up another load of pastries. “You can’t beat the fall foods.”
“Absolutely,” said Nancy. “And my favorite part of the fall is Thanksgiving at the commune.”
“So, how do you celebrate Thanksgiving here?” Will asked.
“Oh, just you wait and see,” said Nancy. “Just wait.”
For Thanksgiving, Nancy made twelve pies, five exotic breads, and batches and batches of cookies like no one had seen. Cat made sure that there were twenty different vegetable dishes. Luna and Dan created a lima bean creation shaped like a stuffed goose.
The tables in Groovy House were full to overflowing. The dining room was decorated in gold and brown and deep, dark reds. There were candles and cloths on the tables. There was food everywhere and it seemed like more was coming in all the time.
Everyone was there at dinner, and everyone included all the commune residents plus Ed and Ralph and Peter and George and Fred and Amanda and Steve and Edgar and Luna's mother and Ken's mother and Cat's mother and Paul G’s mother and Purslane and Roly-poly and Thistle and The Troll.
The communards were everywhere. Marge was busy running around making sure that there were chairs for everyone. Paul G and Strange Brew were helping her. Ken was helping people in and Chuck was helping Darren in the kitchen (and since they weren’t cooking real goose, he was really goosing the cook). Blue Sky was fixing last minute decorations with Viv. Lois and Mo sat admiring everything. The whole Trollwork team was too busy talking with each other to help with anything. And all the mothers were sitting in a bunch talking about what a nice place this was and whether there was anything they could do to help.
Eventually, all the food was put out and everyone was settled at the tables and the food was passed along and everyone ate and ate and ate and ate and ate. And then a few of the folks ate some more.
Finally, when no one could eat anymore because everyone was more stuffed than the lima bean goose, Luna said, “I am thankful for all of you. There would be no community here without you.”
Dan said, “I’m thankful that Luna invited me to join her here and I’m super thankful that we’re doing this.”
Ed said, “I’m glad to see your new building coming up and I’m thankful that you’ve all survived all that you survived.”
And one by one, each person at the table (even the mothers) talked about all that they were thankful for, mostly focusing on life in the commune. The people and the buildings and the land and the animals were all appreciated. Everyone seemed happy and grateful.
But the one thing that no one even mentioned was the thing that most of them were most thankful for: the fact that Dan and Dick were long gone.