Object Lessons: Rantings of a Lone Pamphleteer
I almost always make it to my parent's home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year, I took along a couple of friends, namely Jon and his furry friend Teddy.
My sister was hosting the holiday this year, and she did a lovely job. Full turkey dinner with all the fixin's, as they say down South, although some were surprised that the turkey meat was legs only. Hey, my sister likes dark meat, exclusively. Her house, her choice, and it was both lovely and delicious. The artichoke dip was the last word in dips, and the cranberry sauce was, well, store-bought. My family won't eat cranberry sauce if it doesn't keep the shape of the can.... Biscuits, dressing, gravy, you name it. My sister slaved for two days, but planned well. We had little to do Thursday morning.
Jon was very helpful while Janie and I completed the prep work, mostly through his calming effect on little Luke, my younger nephew. Luke is, well, almost two. He'd rather be underfoot peeling the labels off canned goods than sitting quietly. Jon, however, has a knack with him. While Janie and I were preparing dinner, we overheard part of Jon's tactic.
Jon (while flipping channels): "No, no, this is important, this is football."
Luke (annoyed): "Bah bah wah."
Jon: "Can you say 'Lions'?"
Luke (gleeful): "Lion."
Soon my Aunt Sue (also a Mensan) and my Granny arrived. Mom and Dad, busy moving into their new store for Friday's grand opening, made it for the afternoon festivities. Nine-year-old Aaron Witt filled up on snacks, evidently, and was more interested in the latest video game rental than sitting around with the adults. Luke, however, cheerfully played with his sweet potatoes and marshmallows.
We spent the afternoon sleeping off the tryptophan and enjoying the company.
Friday Jon and I met my college friend Rachel for lunch at the original Village Tavern by Wake Forest University. Jon and I then took a driving tour around campus, and headed back to Janie's for the afternoon. Janie's house is the place of no resistance, and we all fell into a calm stupor. Once Luke was napping, we all were nodding off. Janie's warm and cozy home is to blame rather than the turkey.
Next, my 'rents met us for a delicious dinner at Cities, the newest hotspot in Winston-Salem, complete with a slide-show backdrop of city skylines (including a pre-attack NY view of the Twin Towers) and a twinkling-lights ceiling. Unfortunately, they took the Mouse Mousse off the menu; the chocolate rat-shaped dessert was Witt's favorite.
We left Saturday afternoon for the seven-hour trip home after stoping off to say our goodbyes to my sister, my granny, and my parents at their new store.
So, after the whirlwind holiday, I have time to consider and give thanks:
I'm thankful for Jon's company on the drive home, where he creatively quizzed me on state capitals and nicknames. We also played a trivia card game (he beats me every time).
I'm thankful for the gift of a fine mind and a healthy body.
I'm thankful for the generosity of my family, and the kind welcome they gave Jon.
I'm thankful my sister's a good cook.
I'm very grateful for the continued decent health of my Granny.
I'm thankful for visits from relatives whom I don't often get to see, but with whom I can claim more than kinship; I can also claim friendship with Sue.
I'm thankful for the love of our furry friends. Teddy was a good travel companion (when he wasn't whinning or darting out the front door), and though I'm sure my kitties missed me, I know they were well-cared-for. Thanks, Annie.
Lastly, I'm thankful for life, liberty, and being born a US citizen. I often am amazed by how lucky I am, just by the circumstance of my birth.