Monday, November 26, 2012

A Thanksgiving Olio

An olio, a miscellaneous collection, a good word to know if you do crossword puzzles, and, perhaps, the new name for the Random Thoughts series.  There are so many stories to tell....
It was a little bit of Love Actually at Tucson International Airport on Wednesday night.  Grandmas were hugging and being hugged. Girlfriends were standing aside, letting parents and sons embrace, patiently waiting for their own hugs and kisses.  Little ones were asleep on shoulders and in crooks of arms and in strollers.

By the time Thursday morning rolled around.... at about ten past midnight.... there was only Big Cuter's plane left to land and the crowd had thinned considerably.  We were hunkered down in front of the tv monitor, which broadcasts from the arrivals hallway, just after the security station. Travellers in the know smile and wave at the camera, much to the delight of their relatives in the lobby. We all wondered why the security guard chose that particular spot to rearrange his undergarments, wriggling his butt in the camera's lens.

We wondered.... and we laughed.
Big Cuter lives in sweats and t-shirts when he's here.  There's a stash of them in his closet.  His suitcase contains underwear and reading material.

"Dad, can I borrow a pair of socks?" has become a recurring theme this vacation.  Though he says he doesn't need any more socks at all, I think Santa will have to bring some that he can leave here.

Yes, it's all part of my fiendish, not very subtle, plot to entice my children to move to the desert.  It's not likely, but a girl can dream.
I started to transition from Fall to Winter this morning. Big Cuter lifted two boxes of decorations up to the top shelf in the cabinet in the garage.  He didn't need a ladder.  He didn't need to organize his hips and his legs to lift them.  He did it all in one fell swoop, not needing two forays to accomplish the task. He didn't grunt or groan or find the boxes particularly heavy.

I knew there was a reason I had children.
While I am extolling the virtues of having a strong young man around the house, let me also give him credit for figuring out how to turn Pandora off on my new, not-that-annoying-any-more Galaxy S3 smartphone.

Now, if he could only figure out why the desktop computer won't turn on, I'd be totally content.
I made two turkeys this year.  It was a mistake.  I meant to make one turkey and one breast, but I picked up the wrong bag in the grocery store and didn't notice my mistake until 10am on Thursday morning, ten minutes after I sat up in bed, panic stricken.  Who sleeps in on Thanksgiving morning?

Without Little Cuter to spearhead the effort, I was a wreck. She's taken charge since high school.  She's the much better cook, and I like to clean up, so we're the perfect pair.  This year, the mashed potatoes weren't creamy, the creamed spinach was from a microwaveable freezer pack, and I was dripping sweat by the time I sat down at the kitchen table.

How did G'ma and Daddooooo manage the holidays without their kids surrounding them? I barely made it through dinner.
The last person to wear the too-small white apron with the turkey embroidered on the breast was Christina-Taylor.  I put it over my head without making the connection.... and then I remembered..... and I cried.

I couldn't help it.  She's gone, there's less of my mom every day, my girl and her guy weren't here, and it was the anniversary of my dad's death.  I was trying as hard as I could to feel grateful - and there is so much for which to be grateful - and, eventually, I found my way out of my funk.

It was the first time I had an up-close-and-personal relationship with The Holiday Blues.  How lucky am I to have reached 60 before I knew what it meant, for real?
The boys went to the neighborhood sports bar in the mall where Big Cuter's 49'ers were playing on the 103" screen. They were hiding in a quiet nook, surrounded by San Francisco fans, drinking beer and iced tea and cheering Colin Kaepernick.  TBG gets credit for picking the 6'5" back-up quarterback as a winner back when the kid was playing college ball.  I have to mention that.  It's a fact.  He's proud of it.  Thanks for reading it.

I had half a hamburger and shared my fries with the table and then, when Big Cuter ordered spicy hot wings, I had to leave.  These were seriously hot hot wings.  The spices made my eyes tear.  I moved closer to TBG, but that didn't help.  Our faces were sweating.  Our son, meanwhile, was smiling, laughing, and devouring an entire plate of bright orange.

It's good to be young.
I'm trying as hard as I can to get into the holiday spirit.  I've begun mailing the brownie list. Thanksgiving is put away and so is Halloween.  The first nutcracker has made his appearance by the back door.  I went wreath shopping on Friday.

The problem is, the temps are still in the 80's during the day, and the pool is looking awfully inviting.

I have to remind myself that this was Jesus's weather.... and it's his birthday, after all, right?
I hope your holiday was filled with warmth and love and joy.  I know that mine was made infinitely better, just knowing that you were out there.  Please, do not underestimate how much I value, love, revel in your presence.  You help me think, and for that, I am eternally grateful.


  1. Hi AB, it's good to be back home. We spent Thanksgiving eating spaghetti and then going to Epcot to see the fireworks. Hubby was beaming because the Redskins won. He and my little man were wearing their jerseys with pride. We had an interesting vacation. My little guy likes to run off; so at times it was quite stressful trying to chase him through crowds of people.

    I thought of you on Thanksgiving and am glad you were able to get out of your funk. This is a hard time of year for many and everyone thinks about those that are gone or not near.

    Now, I have to go back and read Friday's tip about shopping local. I started to read it in bed last night, but was distracted by my toddler.

    Happy Monday.

    Megan xxx

    P.S. I'll send you a link to our Flickr pixs in Email today/tomorrow.

  2. Mostly, I just look forward to both Thanksgiving and Christmas being over and done with. I ignore them both, best I can. I used to get really depressed, but with the passage of time, that has improved greatly. My mom's downhiil spiral began on Thanksgiving Day and she died the day after Christmas. I seldom get to be with either of my children or grandchildren. I think there's lots of people like me who basically endure, rather than celebrate the season. However, these days, instead of feeling sad and depressed, I am rather pleased that I have escaped the typical craziness that begins the day after Halloween. I avoid shopping, like the plague. Of course, I do that all the time anyway. I ramble. I should just say that I send you hugs for the pain in your heart. Finding your blog has been a real gift to me this last year and I'm truly grateful for it. I'm glad you feel the love that so many have for you.

  3. <3 Thanksgiving is my favorite along with Halloween...every year that goes by, Christmas just seems to get more & more out of hand. We just got back into Phoenix last night & I'm a little blue myself to tell you the truth.
    Time to buck up & get through another holiday season and then turn 36. :/ LoL

  4. Choose the pool! You can decorate a little at a time around pool time. Have you shared your brownie recipe before? Or would you consider sharing it? I love good brownies and if you send yours out as gifts, they must be great.

    Sharon Kay - I congratulate you on avoiding the craziness that is holiday shopping! Do you think that volunteering somewhere would help you? So many agencies need help at this time of year that you could find a good fit for you somewhere and that might help you find more happiness in the season. I work at The Salvation Army so that of course is my personal favorite but there are so many to choose from.

  5. ForestGirl, you're sweet! I should not admit this, I guess, but I always can find a way to cheer myself up in a very selfish way. I just lose myself in my paints. ;) I also think I should have explained a bit more.....I have learned that feeling happy and joyful is a choice and I conciously choose joy and gratitude every day of my life, so those old holiday blues don't stand much of a chance with me anymore. Bless you.

  6. I'm thankful to have found your blog. I started reading you prior to the bad thing that happened. I was thankful to be able to follow your progress and cheer with each step forward. You are an inspiration and I feel blessed to "knowing" you. Hugs

  7. I have to go with ForestGirl - to the pool! This weather won't last forever, so seize the day and enter the water. I'm sorry Thanksgiving was hard for you, not having your daughter had to be difficult. My Mom was always gracious about it when we didn't come home, but she missed us. This is such an emotionally freighted time of year. Jim & I have pretty much stepped off the holidays. We have a 14 inch white tree and chili pepper lights stuck to the windshield of the bus and that's about it for decorating. Christmas day we'll go mountain biking and then eat lamb chops.


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