Aaaah! Here it is, a holiday. Time to sleep in and laze about the house, watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and sip some coffee. That is unless you're me and crazy enough to overbook even on a holiday.
It's hard to resist a Thanksgiving Day run that offers a bottle of wine at the end. So I'll be leaving soon to join two of my friends. We'll tie electronic chips to our shoes and run four miles before queuing up for that bottle of wine. My friend Pam, who hates to have any attention drawn to herself, signed up for the run but isn't going, because people might look at her and realize she's Pam. No, wait. That's PAM!!! Why couldn't I tie her chip to my other shoe and get two bottles of wine? I'm still mulling this one over.
Last night I lined up the recipes for today's big meal according to which would take the most time. The turkey, of course, a good four hours. We're going with a tried and true recipe that includes apple cider and soy sauce. Don't ask, but trust me it's good. Next come the sweet potatoes with Jack Daniels that take over an hour to bake. Tucker's in charge of the corn casserole at one hour. Cheesy garlic mashed potatoes a little less than an hour. Green bean casserole less than half an hour. Rolls 10 minutes. Oh, I forgot about the cranberries. I'll have to remind Grace to make those. She loves watching each cranberry explode out of it's skin as they cook into a thick jelly.
I looked at my recipes lined up along the counter and realized I needed to put the correct pan or casserole beside each one. If Earl started the sweet potatoes with the wrong pan, the rest of the dishes would fall into the wrong pan. It could be a disaster. Suddenly, I remembered the time Suburban Kamikaze went to her mil's house for the first time and made fun of her for laying out serving dishes with little name tags in them -- chips, rolls, lunch meat. Maybe I have become that person, the Midwest woman with name tags in the serving dishes.
We're trying to eat at noon then go over to Earl's sister's house at 2 to see her daughter home from Chicago and her other daughter's one-month-old. Then Earl has to go to work. The kids and I will come home and I'll finally have that lazy day I had planned.
Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time that you count your blessings, and, I do, but it's also a time when I miss family. I called my mom yesterday morning while I was on my way to work.
"Will you please come up for Christmas?" I asked. "I'm so tired of having holidays without any family around." I could feel myself near tears, but if you'd asked me I would have said I didn't feel especially sentimental about celebrating with just our immediate family, again. Mom said she'd talk to dad about it. I know it's hard on them to travel. They're in their 70s now, but we're so sewn in by swim team practices and basketball games. The kids can't get away for more than Christmas day and Earl has to work. We are caught here.
So, I am thankful for work. Earl saw his company teeter this year, and although he didn't keep the job he enjoyed, he did keep a job and his salary. I have more work than ever, and even if I complain, I'm grateful.
I'm thankful for my husband, who spends those new day time hours when he isn't working, taking care of the house and doing laundry, so I won't have so much work to do. I'm thankful and know I don't deserve a husband who always puts me first, thinking of my happiness.
I'm thankful for the way I see my kids growing and changing, becoming independent people, even when they are pains.
I'm thankful for my friends, who are spread few and far between, but loyal and wise.
Happy Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for?
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