Thanksgiving and Old Dog



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.

Happy Thanksgiving!




About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

18 responses »

  1. you are such a goof! Take a breath, relax, the oven will warm up the house. Probably your aunt knows your house is cold and will dress warm and, if not, an afghan wrapped around her will help. Enjoy your dinner, laugh, relax.

  2. Have a great Thanksgiving Cindy, Rob is here, I have a turkey in the oven and a friend on the way that I invited as I found out she was going to be alone today. After dinner we will have our traditional annual viewing of Planes, Trains and Automobiles. We always laugh at the same favorite parts as if we had never seen them before.

  3. LOVE this post, Cindy–all the little details of life. We always kept our heat at 60 in Lexington–at least, we tried. I didn’t mind it, but Sara hates the cold. Here in Cuenca we have no need for heat or ac, as the weather is mild all year round. Your Thanksgiving sounds like it was going to be perfect. Hope that it was!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  4. Well, after reading this, Cindy, I may still have the chills, but my heart definitely feels warmer! You know what I love when you write about your bustling, multi-tasking self? I know if you’re doing all that, you must be feeling pretty good, with no lack of energy! I hope your day was perfect!

    • I always sound much more whiny than I feel! I am feeling my age, but still have plenty of energy most days, and am always very thankful for that.Thanksgiving Day was lovely. I hope yours was, too!

  5. Happy belated Thanksgiving, Cindy! So enjoyed reading your post, but that 45 degree cold has me shivering and wanting to go downstairs to stoke the woodstove. Brrr….. I feel cold when it hits 62 in here. You are very brave to have accepted the Thanksgiving torch. Have never had to make a big dinner for a crew and would probably cringe in fear. In fact, do cringe in fear at the thought. By the way, loved your thoughtful comment on my conflict blog. Have thought about it a LOT since you posted it. I felt something inside relax and allow conflict to exist even more without pushing it away prematurely.

    • Thanks, Kathy, you’re very sweet! I hope your holiday was wonderful, too! As I come from a very large family (nine kids), cooking for a crowd is kind of my default method. I too often do it even when it isn’t necessary…which leads to lots of leftovers. This year, my cousin, Greg cancelled, which left three of us around the table with a menu that included a 16 pound turkey with all the fixings, plus sauces, pickles and a smoked trout pate’, three vegetable side dishes besides the expected green bean casserole (which I hate) and THREE pies!!! What I should have had was about a dozen more guests! Thank you for reading, Kathy, and for your kind comments!

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