Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Looking in All Directions

A little while ago I sat at my mother's good oak table in the kitchen (for future reference - and general FYI - we have two tables: one is a tile-top we use generally, when it's just us [my sister, niece, and our parents] or us and our aunt and uncle, and the other is the Amish-made oak table with four leaves that we only use at holidays or other occasions when absolutely necessary) and thought back through the various Thanksgivings I've experienced over the past few years.

Most of them were held at the house I used to live in; I was 11 turning 12 at the tail end of our week at Disney World, so we ate Thanksgiving dinner at Port Orleans; there was the year we ate at my sister's house (in which my uncle pegged me in the jugular with a roll from across the kitchen because I said "chuck me a roll"); one year I decided not to go to Rhode Island and was the only one in the house and spent the weekend painting the room I was going to move into when we moved; I spent on Thanksgiving in Rhode Island, having been picked up at college on the way through the Thruway; and last year I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for my English and Welsh flat-mates, who then surprised me with a cake because Thanksgiving was also my 21st birthday.

Of course, interspersed with that, have been the holidays I've spent puking my guts out because it's fairly well-known tradition in this family that for one of the three holidays - Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year - someone is going to be sick. There are years when I'm only down for the count at one, and the memorable year where I accidentally had two birthdays in the same year because I didn't have my party until February, due to illness.

Tomorrow, of course, is Thanksgiving. For as much as the last six months have been rather interesting - and at times more than difficult - there's still a lot to be thankful for. The family is healthy, we're happy (for the most part, there are some things that just....just can't be easily fixed right now or that are flat-out going to take time) and we're all going to be gathered in the kitchen and generally just being us.

I'm good with that.

Not to mention I have the biggest craving for stuffing that I can't seem to explain. Seriously. Big bowl of stuffing. Gravy. That's all I want.

And then the day after I'm really hankering for some burgers, chips, and birthday cake. But I have a feast to get through first. A feast by the name of Earl. Yes, we're the type of family to name the turkey we're going to be eating. It's been a tradition ever since I can remember, and we've gone through George, Igor, Edgar, Oliver, and many, many more. It took roughly 20 minutes to decide on Earl.

We're a little quirky. But I wouldn't have us any other way.

Have a fantastic day with your family (both chosen and the ones you have no choice in the matter) and your friends. Happy Thanksgiving.

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"The difference between life and the movies is that a script has to make sense, and life doesn't."

-Joseph L. Mankiewicz