Lots to be thankful for! While not being a big holiday person I can still be thankful for all the good going on around me. First and foremost, sons and daughters seeing this Thanksgiving in an entirely different light than the year before. Whether early twenties or single digit years, experience has colored their view, not necessarily good or bad, things are just seen different. Adulthood and forging your own path can bend your idea of value. How valuable is the coming together of family and friends, but once a year? Haven't seen any of these people all year long! Hi Mom Hi Dad, Hi son, Hi daughter..."Grandpa you're looking good"......"Eh!"....wide-eyed stare...."I said you're looking good" while accentuating lip movement'. Through snow and ice or long hot drive it almost feels innate being pulled by some genetic or biological tug.
Hosting the feast removes the dreadful prospect of navigating Airport's busiest half a week, but then, planning and preparation can stress even the most ardent and experienced of Thanksgiving chefs as well. Who is staying or sleeping where? What time is everyone arriving? What shall I plan for the early arrivals? Who can help and with what? Which arrivals cause more work? or need to be separated from other arrivals? Yep, all those hidden little stress issue's that as a single digit sibling see's are invisible. "Why are you so frantic, it's just a bunch of family and friends coming over to hang out or play? Geez!" little one says to big one.. God forbid any stress about cooking, stuffing or basting the BIRD! Skinning, cutting, boiling and mashing the potatoes. Sifting, straining, remixing, and recooking the gravy. Washing trimming and boiling the brockley. Getting the once a year used China from the shelves, washing them and lying them in wait for the final setting above the once a year used freshly washed tablecloth.
Maneuvering "D" day is always the most fun for one and all. Aunt B is wondering if she has helped out enough or arrived too early or late. Her attempts at mitigating inadequacies roll out in the form of questions and comments soliciting praise and assurance. Cousin Jeff is stoned and for a brief second wonders if he is eating too much too fast. Old uncle Bert is comparing the mashed potatoes to what he used to make in the brig..."Oh, honey you don't want to go there...you don't want to know about my drinking and bad behavior as a sailor.....those were unruly times".....everyone is looking bewildered at uncle Bert wondering who actually asked the prompting question--no one! Sister Lisa, pronounced Leeza, is refraining from eating the once a year labor of anguish beautifully prepared BIRD due to it being raised in harsh confinement. "Yes, who could possibly live with themselves after sanctioning such brutal uncivilized behavior let alone look at yourself in the mirror". Oh, there's G'PA at the opposite head of the long well appointed table with a look of stately childlike enthusiasm, just kind of watching everything pass before him. Oh hohohohooooo! Don't forget to mention Pop's himself slowly approaching inebriation, for the moment colorful engaging dissertations begging all to wonder if his color will remain light and not turn to dark before the table is cleared.
That's why tryptophan! (depressant al gratin), repress those many varied passions at this hallowed of all holidays... How smart are our early Fore-fathers understanding of the potential for calamity with large family gatherings...
Can't wait, Happy thanksgiving!
Causes Ron McElroy Supports
Surfrider Foundation, LA Mission, World Vision,Green peace, UCSB.