Friday, November 25, 2005

Well, Paula Deen I Ain't ...

Oh what a day ... of family and feasts.

Well, I'm thrilled to report that we spent our Thanksgiving at home ... and while thing didn't go just as we'd planned, how often does that happen anyway? We were a small group ... but it was homey and comfortable. There were just the five of us and my Mom.

Side note: I'd like to say I didn't tear up or get sad thinking about how it used to be when Dad was alive ... but I'd be lying. The hospice center that treated Dad sends me a monthly newsletter and sheets with tips for coping. This month's tip was about Thanksgiving, of course. It advised me that avoiding talking about the death of our loved one was "... like ignoring an elephant in the room ... you all know it's there and it's ridiculous to act as though it's not." But honestly, ignoring it was the only plausible solution. Why ruin everyone's holiday (including mine) by becoming morose? I mean, come on, it's not even a reasonable option.

The feast was truly a feast. Sausage, cheese, and crackers for hors d'oeuvres ... then turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and gravy for the main meal. Sounds like something out of a Norman Rockwell print, right?

Well, the Butterball was dry ... I'd put too much pepper in the green bean casserole ... and I dropped the pan of sweet potatoes on the kitchen floor - marshmallow side down, of course. Thank god our college freshman had already made her delicious mashed potatoes for everyone or I might've just sat down in the middle of the floor and cried like a baby. She was even sweet enough to make an emergency run to the grocery store for sweet potatoes so I could throw together a replacement pan.

Don't get me wrong. The meal wasn't a total disaster ... just one little goof after another. I suppose Mom was right when she said, "What makes a good cook is the ability to improvise." Well, let me tell you, my kitchen was a culinary Second City yesterday.

Mom brought a pumpkin pie and (my ex-husband) had picked up an apple pie and cheesecake ... but the star of the table was a peanut butter pie made from scratch from the twins. It was rich and creamy ... and a hit with everyone.

After dinner, we pulled the tubs of decorations out and decorated the Christmas tree. No, it's not a yearly tradition ... just a necessity. We only had a two windows of opportunity for everyone to be together and last night was the most convenient. Sure, we were tired ... but it worked out great. The tree is twinkling beautifully ... and subliminally prompting me to decorate the rest of the house as soon as possible.

So, in the end ... I'm exhausted. But it was a wonderful day. Since Thanksgiving is meant to be a day of giving thanks ... I'll be the first to say I'm thankful for everything I have. I had a roof over my head, food on my table, and family around me. What more could you ask for?

I'm thinking of taking next year off though. Our girls will be with their mom for the holiday ... and so a Thanksgiving feast at Red Lobster sounds just like what the doctor ordered.

I make toys, but I've got aspirations
Make some noise
Use your imagination
Girls and boys
Before you wish for what you wish for
There's a list for who's been
Naughty or nice
But consider the price to an elf

Barenaked Ladies - Elf's Lament