I am doing Thanksgiving Dinner this year!
Usually I just show up, perhaps with a pie or two, some dinner rolls or a vegetable dish. I arrive early to help, and generally read from my aunt’s stack of magazines while she watches whatever game is on the television. I follow directions: scoop this into a bowl…mash the potatoes…set the table. After dinner, cut and serve the pie. I’m grand with the clean-up, and when that’s done I can usually get cousin Bob involved in a game or two of cribbage. Easy!
This year, Aunt Katie has passed the torch. Not only am I doing the entire dinner, I’m doing it at my own house!
With a long list to accomplish, I spent yesterday dicing and slicing, preparing whatever could be made ahead and baking pies.
I also spent four hours stuffing, sealing and stamping envelopes for one of my many jobs.
There were the routines of dog-walking, bill-paying and house-cleaning. With company coming, there were many extras added to the list, to make the house look holiday-ready.
In a classic demonstration of my multi-tasking frenzy, I also chose yesterday to rearrange my bedroom, and put down a rug.
Punctuating everything, with my new washer and dryer installed, I was all day catching up with a week’s worth of laundry.
My biggest concern, though, has been getting my house warm enough for my aunt. Her house is so warm these days, we dress in layers to go there, so that we can strip down to summer clothes if we plan to stay awhile.
My thermostat is normally set at 60 degrees. That can be adjusted, of course. Still, floors are cold and windows are drafty. The nice heater (a gift from Aunt Katie!) that I’ve used to make areas cozier quit working last week.
To top it off, in the process of flipping breakers on and off for my new appliances, I accidentally reset the thermostat to 0. Accustomed to the chill, I didn’t notice until this morning…when I woke up to a very cold house.
Forty-five degrees does not feel comfortable in any season!
I was very grateful, this Thanksgiving Day, to have a little dog curled around me for warmth!
This last week, I was glad for the chance to have a nice visit with “Drywall Mike” and his granddaughter, Chelsea, on Beaver Island just for a few days. When Mike was forced – by health and other issues – to leave the island several years ago, I ended up with his old dog, Maggie.
Maggie was too big for my house and too set in her ways to train. Arthritis kept her off the furniture; I would not have been able to otherwise. She was stubborn and smelly and absolutely obnoxious about food. Her medicines were costly and torn tendons demanded two expensive surgeries. At the end of her life, my house was like “sick bay”, and I was the nurse charged with cleaning up all of her messes. Still, she loved me fiercely, and she became like family. She was the first of my little family of dogs. Though Maggie’s been gone a couple years now, I’d grown so accustomed to having her always underfoot, I still look before I jump out of bed or chair, for fear of trampling her!
Maggie was an easy subject to sketch, because she slept so soundly.
The house is warmer now; I’m off to put the turkey in the oven.