1. started a few weeks ago when I asked my sister if she wanted to plan our annual Thanksgiving and she informed me that she already had- we just weren't a part of it. Her kids were going to their Dad's and she was going to her fiance's family home. Omen of things to come.
2. Because of lack of planning, or whatever, our choir had to practice on Wednesday night - traditional pie making night. But even that seemed to be okay. We were going to eat late to accommodate my oldest son Calvin and his girlfriend Sarah, so it was easy to move pie making to Thursday since we were going to eat at 5 p.m. anyway.
3. On Thanksgiving morning I remembered I left my jacket at church after choir practice. I really like that jacket and I was going to need it for the race too so I drove over to church early to pick it up. And since I was there I knelt down and thanked God for all my blessings, past, present and future and I asked Him to truly make me grateful for all that I have received.
I guess God decided to test that out.
Feeling content and peaceful, I was leaving the church when...
WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOOFFFF!!! The pastor's big dog was barking and running towards me which made me jump and cry out as my my blood pressure spiked and the flight or fight instincts started to kick in.
You should know that everyone loves this dog. He is beloved in the parish. I like this dog too and I desperately want him to like me mainly because I appreciate our pastor - and the dog did like me for about 20 minutes when I was sitting in the rectory planning my mother's funeral two years ago. He has not liked me since and I have no idea why! The pastor waved and said good morning and his dog went back to him although the dog still looked like he would have preferred taking a big hunk of meat out of my own drumstick instead!
and to make matters worse, Mr. Pete was not sufficiently sympathetic when I told him about it, because our own dog, Sophie, does not like him. She runs away and hides when he comes into a room and every night when he comes home she barks and howls as if we are experiencing an intruder invasion. So Mr. Pete thinks my problem with the church dog is funny and in fact, I think he rather enjoys it!
4. I get home and poke the Turkey which has been sitting in the sink over night and still feels as hard as a brick. Now I am not a turkey novice and in fact we have turkey four or more times a year just because we enjoy it, so I was a bit surprised that I got the thaw time needed for this bird wrong. I started praying that it would be soft by the time we got back from the race.
5. The race went well - in fact it was perfect running weather and I loved watching all the runners. Noah killed his last year time by around 9 minutes and Izzy actually ran the whole 4 miles! We get home and its all hands on deck to get the dinner ready. Rosie is more than willing to help with any task we give her - which isn't a whole lot because she is only 6 and doesn't always follow directions. The three older boys were nowhere to be found so it was the three youngest ones, Mr. Pete and me.
6. The turkey was sufficiently thawed and made it into the oven about 12:15. Would it be done in time for dinner at 5? That was my biggest worry.
7. We forgot all about the cranberry sauce even though we had all the ingredients. Mr. Pete whipped that up and we hoped it would set in time for dinner. We also realized we had forgotten the french fried onions for the green bean casserole - that was a bummer because we REALLY like those onions. But we decided to go ahead without them too.
8. We set the table but with two of the girlfriends coming too I realized 8 places would not be enough, so we supplemented from an other china set - the one belonging to my grandma. Izzy and Rosie made place cards and I thought we were really whipping this together!
9. 5 o'clock came and the turkey button popped right out on cue! It was done and we could eat. The cranberry sauce had set - sort of, salad was made, pies were done, every one was ready to eat - especially Izzy and Noah, the kids that ran 4 miles that morning - they were famished! But Calvin and his girl were not there yet so I called his cell phone- no answer.
10. We sat down and started to eat anyway because I knew those two had already had one Thanksgiving dinner and everyone else was hungry.Then the phone rang and Calvin informed me that he and Sarah had decided that they weren't going to come. They were tired of trying to fit two Thanksgiving dinners into one day. This handy piece of information would have been useful on Tuesday or even Wednesday.
11. With a lump in my throat I sat down to eat with the rest of the family and I think we had a pretty good time. Green bean casserole without the French Fried onions is still delicious. The kids didn't seem upset about their brother although we all agreed that it would have been nice to know ahead of time instead of 10 minutes late.
12. The two older boys who did nothing to help prepare the feast - were great at clean up. We all watched kid movie together and then the teens went off to do whatever teens do and Dad and Noah and Rosie started to watch something about Swamp People Thanksgiving and eating alligator and such so I did something I have never done before...
13. My oldest daughter and I went to a PG 13 movie by ourselves and had a great time.
Was it a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving? - no. But we made it through and it definitely had memories for years go come.