I was walking around, thinking about being thankful, which is not a problem. But this is my first Thanksgiving since becoming an official blogger and I wanted to think of something original. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year to stop and take measure of all the good in our lives. Of course, it is even better if we do that daily.
When we sit down at the table around the turkey or the ham or the hen, we can't eat until we have said what we are thankful for in the last year. And then we pray and start passing the dressing and cranberry sauce, eyeing the pecan and pumpkin pies on the buffet before the plate in front of us has even been filled. Look, there is even more over there. I better hurry and eat so I can get to the pie first.
The thought of the pecan pie dolloped in real whipped cream dangles like a carrot on an imaginary string hanging from the light fixture, barely at eye level but never out of sight. You take a bite of the delicious cornbread sage dressing which took Mama hours to prepare. Cut a bit of tender white meat and catch a smidge of cranberry jelly on the shiny silver fork which lives in dark seclusion with a family of silver, wrapped in soft blue silver cloths tied with grosgrain ribbon tucked in the drawer of the mahogany breakfront where treasured heirlooms sparkle on shelves just waiting to break out in holiday merriment. She spent two hours standing at the kitchen counter polishing that very morning.
The pecan pie catches your eye, averting your eyes from sweet Grannie sitting across the table who loves nothing better than to hear every single word that comes from your mouth because we are special and well loved and almost perfect, to hear her tell it. Her Sunday School class knows every time you won a spelling bee and when you graduated Magna Cum Laude from college and the color scheme of your new kitchen when you got married and moved away. And she knows about their granddaughters, too.
The smell of the clove in the pumpkin pie is calling out to Nathan and so is Josh as the phone in his lap lights up and the story Daddy is telling about winning the state football championship,which he tells every year on this weekend, is once again lost on Nate because some of the guys are going down to the river and he is immediately trying to figure out a swift exit from this family holiday meal but not before dessert.
Of course, Daddy is telling the story to gently remind everyone that football is being played as he speaks, without directly coming out with the words but he is bothered by the television hanging on a string from the light fixture wondering if it will hold before it drops in his lap or worse, in his plate of food because he did stand around outside in his L.L. Bean jacket to make sure the turkey was deep fried, assuring he would be in control of the situation.
Now a splendid shiny Disco ball is hanging on a string from the light fixture because Aunt Kimberly is practicing new dance steps under the table in preparation for the Dancing with the Stars Finale tomorrow night. She is wearing her new Jessica Simpson shoes and the strappy sandals need to be worn a few times before she can actually stand upright but then she remembers her toes, wondering if they can fit her in at Hairspray Heaven this afternoon but only after she picks off all of the pecans on her piece of pie because she doesn't like nuts, just the goop and crust which her second cousin rolled out yesterday on a kitchen counter the day before Kim would come through the door with "her" homemade pie, claiming she had spent all day picking the pecans out of the shell and it just wore her out.
Uncle Jack is filling up on seconds of the green bean casserole his sister makes only for him because no one else in the family likes it. But that is the way his sister is to everybody, always thinking of everyone first which does get tiresome to hear some folks tell it. He cannot find fault with her because she is his only sister and has always been nothing but kind, even when he had to marry Kimberly who is really not like anyone they had ever known but she was still welcomed with open arms. Now a baby crib is hanging by a string from the light fixture because Jack thinks he hears a creaking from the bouncy springs in the closest bedroom which Sister outfitted with a used baby bed she painted aqua before they knew if it was a boy or girl. It was a boy.
Mama reaches for the olives. She just loves olives. They are her midnight secret. When she gets up in the middle of the night to let Pepper out, she goes to get a glass of milk but when she opens the fridge and sees the jar of green olives stuffed with pimentos she pulls the pickle fork from the every day cutlery and spears three olives, at first. Olive oil is good for you so she will stick the fork back into the brine a couple more times but she doesn't eat the olives from the fork because of germs. She is very careful that way. While she is munching on a black olive from the green depression glass pickle dish she pulled from the breakfront earlier in the morning before she polished the silver, she remembers the dog.
And she looks up. There is the family dog hanging on a string from the light fixture. Pepper, the Aussie mix, scratching his head as dog hair floats down and lands on the carcass of the half-eaten deep fried turkey which is next to the pan of cornbread sage dressing that looks like it has been attacked by an angry serving fork which was originally used for a slice of cranberry jelly and got his feelings hurt because he wasn't assigned to the dressing.
She shakes her head and then opens her mouth in shock as the whole light fixture with a pecan and pumpkin pie, a television set, a shiny Disco ball, a baby crib and an Aussie mix Pepper each hanging on a string, cracks off the ceiling, falling apart onto the dining table, breaking stemware and food splattered plates.
"Well I never. If everyone hadn't been so impatient, this never would have happened." She takes off her copper colored Williams' Sonoma apron purchased just for Thanksgivings, folds it and puts it in her chair. "You can eat pie without me. The coffeepot is ready, just turn it on. Robert Redford has a new movie out today. Be sure and clean up, please."