For Amy because she asked:
I did not mean to have Thanksgiving this year. I meant to skip right by it as if it wasn't there. I meant to take Lucia and NoMans down to the Cobbs Mill Inn and be with all our favorite waiters and bus people, eat good food, be loved, and go home. I meant to bypass the pain of not having my son. I meant to pull the strings of time together and step right over the day and into tomorrow where I could pick myself up and keep on swimming.
That's not what happened. What happened was my brother called last week and asked if he and his wife could come because they wanted to stay local this year and I said, well yes, of course, and bought a turkey.
I bought a hormone and antibiotic free range scrawny bird weighing in at 11.66 pounds and put him in my refrigerator and forgot about him. This morning I got up late, around tenish, and wandered into the kitchen and here is what I did:
I cooked the sugar pumpkin (yesterday, I cheated a little) and pied him up and only had to roll the crust just one time. I peeled and pared my apples and then realized I only had the one pie pan and so rolled the next crust, just one time, into a cake pan and piled my apples high and laid the top crust over to wait it's turn. I made a poolish of the sour dough starter and checked my supply of stale bread and chopped it up and put it in a bowl. I chopped an onion and sauteed it in half a pound of butter and set it aside. I made a stock from turkey giblets, turnip, carrot and onion and let it simmer. I boiled potatoes and mashed them with some kind of triple cream soft cheese well ripened on my counter with two heads of roasted garlic. I made the sour dough bread from the poolish and let it rise and fall and rise and fall three times before I baked it into two long loaves. I cooked up a mess of cranberries with clementines and set them aside to rest. I chopped root vegetables and tossed them with garlic cloves, olive oil, lemon and wine and set them in to roast. I put the stuffed turkey with more apples in the oven and let him go. I baked the bread, reheated the potatoes, set the pies aside and greeted my brother and his wife at the door.
While I was doing this NoMans was stacking two cords of fire wood. We only ordered half a cord. I will have to hunt those boys down and give them a lot more money. I did not need that much wood but it is stacked in a safe dry place and we will use it eventually. It made me feel abundant and safe.
We sat in the living room, Lucia scrolling through LOL cats and we were together. Then I got up, rested the turkey, made the gravy and set the table. My brother's wife brought brussels sprouts and salad and we sat down together and we broke bread. We talked about the world and who we are and who we want to be. We talked until we could talk no longer and have come off here to bed.
Today we walked through the garden and examined the wreckage that needed to be cleared away weeks ago but maybe we will tomorrow. The celery is still going strong and the ground is littered with the cherry tomatoes we didn't get in before the killing frost. How can the celery still be going after the killing frost? The broccoli is trying to resurrect itself and the hollyhocks have sprouted again. Too much too soon.
I did not listen to Alice's Restaurant for the first time in twenty-five years of listening every year because there was no Mike but I drank the wine and ate the food and sat with my family and allowed myself to be grateful for the simple fact of being here in this house with people I love.
I wrote this tired and disjointed but that's the way of it today.