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I Got Yer Turkey Right Here…

This is my cliche’ Thanksgiving blog.  Just puttin’ that out there…

It’s a little sappy/drab, if you want funnier/snarkier go to my next blog  “Hello, I Loathe You – Being Friendly to People You Can’t Stand”

I’m sitting here waiting for my son to get off the train from New York City.  This is the first time I’ve seen him since he left for college 3 months ago.  I can’t wait.  However, I am trying to prepare myself for a young man who may be slightly indifferent and prefers to go see his friends.  He’s usually a loving kid but I remember how I was when I would come home from college… see ya’ Mom and Dad!

I was thinking back on all the Thanksgivings of my youth.  I was trying to think if anything unusual or humorous happened.  I know it’s totally unbelievable but in a family of six kids… there was never an “infamous” Thanksgiving.  Not even any slightly humorous, unusual moments.  Hmmm.  perhaps I don’t have the dysfunctional family that I imagined?

This year will be a little bittersweet, I’m happy my boy will be home, but it’s the first year without my Dad.  He passed away October 25th of this year (yea not even a month yet).  While over the years I have had numerous Thanksgivings where he wasn’t physically present since I live in New York state and my parents retired to Arizona 25 years ago, I spoke to him every year.  I always speak to my parents every holiday if I’m not with them.  I made a point to speak to my Dad on Thanksgiving because I knew it was his favorite holiday.  My Dad loved to eat.  It was almost a spiritual experience for him.  And my Dad was not a fat guy, to the contrary my Dad was a runner all his life… which created the need for him to eat a lot.

I guess maybe that’s the most notable thing I remember about Thanksgiving is my Father and Brothers running 10K races.  I grew up 30 minutes south of Buffalo, NY.  Every year my Father and Brothers went into Buffalo to run in the Turkey Trot 10K.  Thank God nobody made me go and stand out in the freezing cold for hours to watch this race ‘cuz they would have seen a tantrum of epic proportions.  (And then I would have had my ass kicked and sent to sit in the car, so it’s all good).  Whoever else was home stayed and “helped” my Mom.  But the trouble was as we were being tortured with the saliva-inducing intoxicating aroma of cooking turkey, we had to wait for the guys to come home to eat.  And wait.  And wait.  And wait.

My Dad and Bros always won their age categories, so of course they had to wait around for the awards ceremony.  And it was downtown Buffalo and there were bars nearby, I think usually “having a beer” was involved afterward too.  And back then there were no cell phones, we never knew when they were coming home.  It was like freakin’ waiting for Civil War soldiers to return home.  Perhaps a carrier pigeon will arrive soon?

Then when they finally do walk in the door, they all had the nerve to want to take showers!  Harumph!  So what if you just ran 6.2 miles in freezing rain or snow and you are sweaty and wet and freezing… I’m hungry!  Well, thank God we had two bathrooms each with a shower.  Ok ok, you’re clean, let’s go.  Oh no!  My Mother, the Queen Mother as we have always called her, commands that all wet nasty running gear be hung on the clothesline in the basement or hung over the drainage tub.  Jesus Mary and Joseph!  Don’t you people know what’s at stake here?!!!  Food!  Food that’s losing it’s freshness and warmth!  I can only eat so many more cheese and crackers and relish tray!!!

Finally, we can sit down!  Yea yea “Bless us Oh Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive, from thy bounty, through Christ, Our Lord. Amen. ”  *Squeal*  Oh my God, seriously we can’t eat until everyone has filled their plate?  What kind of proper by the Emily Post Etiquette Book family is this?  Ok, ok hurry up everybody, just get what you need, you can get more later.

Alright all done.  Dig in!  I’m so starved that I wolf it all down in 5 minutes and I feel like I’m going to be sick.  Years later I learned the trick of pacing myself.  In doing so, I would always be the last one sitting at the table with my Dad, who as I said earlier loved him some Thanksgiving.  I would be slowly picking at my food as my Dad was piling on more helpings.  I would try and talk to him but would have to wait until the chewing stopped just briefly enough for a quick answer.  You know Emily Post and all…

I’m the youngest, so at various stages the older kids were drinking.  When everyone was full of lots of wine and food and wanted to lay down in front of the TV and watch The Walton’s Thanksgiving Special… My sister Jane and I insisted everyone come down to the basement to see the “show” we had been working on all day.  Yea, I was that kid.

But karma is a bitch and I was subjected to many a “show” after holiday meals later by nieces and nephew and eventually my own children.  As I begged in my head to please make it stop, I knew God was punishing me.

Oh look at the time!  Time to go get the boy from the station!  I had plenty of lovely Thanksgivings when my kids were young but they were a bit chaotic and I seemed to never sit down.  Now as my kids are all teenagers I’m looking forward to some great dinners filled with laughter and love.  I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Safe travels to anyone en route!

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