Thanksgiving Day 2010

I got up at 6:30am to make coffee and see Talon off on his journey quest of a walkabout to his friends in MA. He has about a 6 ½ hour drive ahead of him as he set his goal to leave at 7:30am.  After waving goodbye for his adventurous next four days, I wished him well and prayed that his number 13s aren’t gonna be too heavy on the gas pedal, I let out the dog. 

Going into the kitchen, at 7:35am, I decide to eat the last remaining piece of homemade lasagna that was the lone orphan on the stove from last night. I wash it down with juice and both Monty and I crawl back in bed with Harry.

Monty is a bed hog, but Harry & I don’t mind. Harry calls Monty to snuggle and all three of us spoon and drift back off to slumber.

I fall back asleep, have a couple of interesting dreams and slowly wake up. I look at the clock and it says 11am! Shawna’s dad is coming for her at 12:30pm and she still has to have a shower and get dressed up for Thanksgiving dinner at his family’s house! This also means that she will be wearing a skirt… which means tights… which is much like stuffing a sausage casing. :)

I hear her call for help, for me to go to help her get into her tights. Wadding up the toe of the stocking, I see that one of her big toes is a long as a Dracula claw. We call these beauties “Fangoras” at our house, for their ability to impale sleeping partners or anyone in range. I go find the clippers. I eliminate the stocking shredder before I put the wadded up stocking on her feet.

She looks beautiful. It’s a late start to a Thanksgiving day for me.
In the past, in my childhood, my mother would’ve started prep for  the day…yesterday… and maybe even the day before.

Bernie Brown, my mother, was a farm wife, and would cook a huge dinner and have to utilize all the extras leaves in the oak table to accommodate our holiday feast.
Pies and fresh rolls would have been baked a day or two before. Mom would be up by 5 or 6am on Thanksgiving day prepping the turkey and cubing stuffing bread to fill the cavity before it went into the oven at around 7am. No mean feat to eat with all at the ready by 1pm. Many vegetables were fetched fresh from the cold cellar: potatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, onions. Other veggies: green beans, beets and pickles were hand chosen from jars on the fruit cellar shelves. Linen tablecloths laid out, the good china placed just so, with at least 15-20 places set for everyone. The gravy boat even made its’ thrice yearly appearance on the table. Mom, sweaty, disheveled, busy, broken, tired would lay all the bounty and cornucopia on the table, right on time. She, however, was usually too tired to eat. My mother would pick at her plate, while telling everyone else to have seconds.

I thought of all of this as I rose from my marriage bed after a decadent lounge at 11am this morning.

On Thanksgiving Day…I do things a bit different now, but it’s still good.

Since my little girls were small, I always made sure there was some special treats.  Treats like “juice punch” (orange juice and gingerale) and danish hot from the oven (Pillsbury Orange Cinnamon rolls) that I fix for Thanksgiving and Christmas mornings. No, it’s not homemade. But it’s pleasure, just the same.

I have made tradeoffs in my life. I’d rather have quality rather than quantity. I’d rather spend my time giggling with Shawna, and cutting her fangoras  and wedging my chubby girl into her tights, than make sure my Thanksgiving dinner was scratch made. I’d rather sleep till almost noon with my cuddly, snuggly husband and rise to put a turkey in a roasting bag to cook 3 hours, instead of rising at dawn and basting a turkey all morning. I don’t know if mom would’ve even used a turkey bag if they existed back then. Maybe. Maybe not.

My girls are with their dad and his side of the family today. A gigantic, wonderful hulabaloo filled with quantity and noise and laughter. That is a wonderful thing, and I’m glad they have it. I am also glad that they are there having a wonderful, busy, big family experience. I had that as a child and it was wonderful. Dishes weren’t that great tho, and I usually was always on that detail.

Yet, all in all, I prefer the quiet of today, the turkey that cooked fast and without my hovering, the enhanced Stove top stuffing I make, the boxed pie cooked bubbly with whipped cream. You know what? It’s all good.

So is watching a movie, in my quiet house, with a glass of wine and a plate of food in my lap and Harry at my side. While big may be better….sometimes little is best. :)

Our life is lived on stage, in crowds, on the move and on the go. The quiet day is a balm to my battered, rag tag, worn out soul.

Even the highway, which is our front road, is quieter today. I took Monty for a walk after my dinner (and he got the cooked turkey neck ;) and we had a lovely stretch of the legs.

The wind was brisk and cold as we stepped out the front door. It was Monty in his chin harness and me at the helm. Many houses were quiet today too… empty. Mayhaps, over the river and through the woods, to grandmothers’ house they did go, no doubt. 

The last few times I’ve been walking Monty, I have been participating in an experiment.
I close my eyes and let my dog be my seeing eye dog. While it is true my cataracts are getting worse, my left eye is totally occluded….yet, I have to tell you that compared to a black slate, my eyes still see.

What an interesting thing to be led. Granted, I still have my sight to check myself when we drift, or when a car sounds close by. I open my eyes and right us on the path or check distance or progress.

But what a feeling to let go and let Monty lead me. There is the matter of trust here. Trust that he knows where he’s going. Trust that you are walking on a firm footing. Trust that you will not fall. Trust in yourself that you can judge your footing and make the proper adjustments. Trust that Monty knows the way.

So, although my sight is failing, and will be addressed with surgery at some point in the near future…I am grateful that I am not blind.

While I am grateful to my mother and all that she did to make a wonderful feast day in my memory, I am grateful that I had some time for my children to enjoy them and to not feel so pushed to crank out perfection.

I am grateful for easy things, for tasty food that cooks itself.

I am grateful for my best buddy, Talon, who has an adventurous spirit and a loyalty for  friends, he who will drive long distances to keep friendships…and who also knows where home and his heart is.

I am grateful for my children, my girls, beautiful and unique in their own right and who have grown into capable young ladies.

I am grateful to my first husband, David, who is still an active part of our little family, who is still loved, and who has been an excellent daddy to my girls every day of their life.

I am grateful for my husband, Harry, who, is handsome and smart, and even though he drives me rat shit sometimes, he is wonderful to sing and play with, is a pleasure to be on stage with, is a very toasty loving and warm bed mate, and while he has his own particular way of doing things…he occasionally lets me sway him to my way of doing things. Proving he loves me truly.

I am also grateful for my home, messy and cluttered around the edges, yet with always the promise of hope of its’ getting organized, if only we try a bit harder, and keep at it.

And mostly, I am grateful that, like following Monty, we may run far afield in this life, mayhaps blindly going our own way….

But that we can always tune into our instincts and if we just listen, know that deep down inside….our feet know the way to go home.


LynnieBee said...

Someday I hope I can be as eloquent as you :) You write from the heart, it is magical :)

Merlyn said...

Thank you so much hon! You are sweet. Thanks for reading. I will check out your writings too :)