Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Tuesday twitter and turkey
Well, the "Turkey Day," festivities begin for us today. Annie's coming home. I'll be driving in to Spokane later this afternoon to pick her up. We haven't yet agreed on whether a stop at O'Doherty's will be on the itinerary, but I don't think the issue will take too much discussion.
Annie will be here through Sunday, and the weather forecast, except for a little wet stuff tonight, is nothing less than divine. Cold, clear, crisp, no snow. Can't ask for anything better, in my mind.
We'll be doing Thanksgiving dinner at my sisters' house. Barbara likes to organize feasts, and she especially likes to cook a turkey, so there will be no complaining from this domicile. We'll be taking butterflake rolls, a green-bean dish, and Cyrus O'Leary pies.
As the only real out-of-town guest this year, Annie's hoping to bring a starter for Amish friendship bread. She's apparently part of a bread-sharing group in Seattle. She says if the cycle's right, she'll have her latest supply. I hope it turns out that way because I'm looking forward to having some of my own.
We're planning to watch some movies, play some Trivial Pursuit and definitely watch the ZAGS. They're playing the first game of a tournament at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving night, so we'll be gathered around Barbara and Laurie's super boob tube to watch to cheer 'em on.
Saturday night we'll all go to Second Avenue Pizza for the obligatory "when kids are home" pizza feast.
It will definitely be a true Thanksgiving this year as we celebrate our mother's wonderful recovery from some medical setbacks this past summer. We're thankful to hear her talking about fixing her cranberries, cooking up her rutabagas, and whipping up a batch of her green beans.
She's been been meticulously preparing these items for the past several days and announcing each time a dish has been completed and ready to go to Barbara and Laurie's refrigerator.
I remember a Thanksgiving several years ago when Bill and I had just returned from a week in Washington, D.C. On our way, we had stopped in Chicago where mother's cousins Rae, Bud and Richard met us at the airport. Rae handed me an envelope full of letters.
One was a letter written by my grandmother shortly after Thanksgiving, 1924. She was writing back to the family in Chicago from her home in the woods near Wallace, Idaho.
My mother was 3 at the time, and her sister June was just an infant. Our grandmother described the Thanksgiving dinner and the excitement she had observed in my mother's eyes as she anticipated the upcoming Christmas.
Our grandmother died two weeks afterward, leaving my mother and her little sister in the care of our grandfather. The trio stayed in Wallace for a while and later moved to the mountains of Northern California. As a 6-year-old, my mother began a life of living in Catholic boarding schools in Texas and Michigan.
She seldom had real family experiences. Later, when she had a family of her own, she made up for her lifetime of loss. Family has been supreme in her book, and holiday meals mean everything to our mother.
That Thanksgiving after Bill and I returned with those letter was very poignant as my niece Maureen sat at the dining room table before we began our feast and read the letter our grandmother had written after Thanksgiving nearly 70 years earlier.
Though there won't be big amounts of family at the Colburn holiday meal, I'm sure all of us will share in our gratitude that our mother is still with us---happy, spry and eager---to sit around the table, revel in the Thanksgiving celebration and, of course, to hear just how good this year's version of the cranberries, rutabegas and green beans taste.