The Kitten will likely not read this post, as she is uninterested in my scribblings here unless they reveal dark family secrets or unauthorized photos of The Kittens. So she will not get to read the high praise I bestow upon her here for a truly magnificent Thanksgiving, having instead to content herself with my tryptophan-laced mutterings from the kitchen couch last night before slouching off to bed at 9PM. The house was beautiful, the food was tasty, and the sanctity of the holiday was well-maintained. We made a deal that she would wash the delicate stuff (china, stemware, etc) and I would do the more hearty stuff--but I insisted that I would not undertake my responsibilities until this morning. For any of you who know me well, you know the words "The meal's not over 'til the dishes are done" escape my mouth only about three hundred days a year....so you know I was laid low by yesterday's bounty. She put a movie in the DVD player and washed dishes, while I was snuggled in bed.
We had--like many of you I am sure--a ridiculous bounty. I was given the task of preparing the turkey, and the reviews indicated that I got it right. In addition, we had The Kitten's famous mashed potatoes (really--the best MP I've ever eaten--perhaps made so by the work I put in to wash, peel and mash), two kinds of stuffing, an amazing oyster casserole, a sweet potato dish (which I avoid--don't like sweet potatoes), a stuffing like creation of chestnuts, mushrooms and celery, a wonderful salad, pumpkin bread, dinner rolls--topped off with a very tasty gravy. Afterward there were four different pies offered (a lemon meringue, a traditional pumpkin, and two pimped-out pumpkin pies), and I stayed with the traditional (natch).
We were a group of eleven; we four, the Kitten's aunt and uncle, their daughter and husband plus two kids, and the Kitten's mother. It was a jolly occasion, save for the morose discussion among the older folks (plus me) of the future of the country in the age of Obama. We were however, charitable in the spirit of the day.
I offered the following pre-meal blessing, which I think is verbatim. "Lord, we thank you for this day... this feast... this family... and this Earth. We are grateful for the blessings you provide and we enjoy. We are mindful that there are those tonight who are lonely....sick....cold....hungry. We ask that you be with them, as you are with us. Amen." Short and sweet, the way I like 'em.
I am particularly glad that today is the day after Thanksgiving. Again--some of you know that I am particularly enthusiastic about the Christmas season. In college, Christmas music began on the day after Halloween for me. Well, the commissars here at Ferry Bridge Farm do not allow Christmas music until Thanksgiving is in the can, and they react with some alacrity when I violate this prohibition. I've been listening to Christmas music in the car, as a solitary act of resistance. Yesterday, during one of my trips to the store to buy stuff we should have bought the day before, I did buy a Christmas Wreath to hang on the door to the ManCave. I hung it proudly and defied the Screws to take it down. They demurred.
My trumpet sits in its case beside me in the Cave, badly in need of a little holiday maintenance before I begin my annual Christmas Carol jamboree. By the Big Day, I'll actually be a passable bugler again. In the meantime, it is well that my rehearsals are here in the hermetically sealed ManCave.
There will be no shopping today for me, nor was there any last night. To do so is the height of ridiculosity. I know that I have family members who indulge in this execrable practice, and though I love them dearly, I fear for their stability. God (and Al Gore) invented the internet to make Christmas shopping efficient and cheap.
I am all liquored up to go and buy (tomorrow, that is) some of those battery-operated window candles that work on a timer. If any of you have experience with them, please let me know. I think they'll look good as one turns the corner and approaches our house, what with all the windows we have now, post-renovation.
I thought yesterday of the Thanksgivings spent at sea or on duty while I was in the Navy. I thought of those who stand that watch now. It is never as good as it is when one is surrounded by loved ones--but here's a little secret....it isn't too bad to be surrounded by shipmates. You make do, you tell stories about the funny stuff that happens around your family table, and the cooks go out of their way to make sure you get a great turkey dinner.
I hear a number of thunderous reports from the fields around me; I don't rightly know what season it is here in Maryland, but I suppose I ought to get my act together and figure it out. The Kitten's brother is coming to visit next week for some deer hunting, so I may tag along with him at least one day. I still hope to receive a much coveted invitation to join Mudge on one of his Eastern Shore properties (the man really is a rural slum lord) in the weeks to come. Mudge has lots of pictures of deer on his properties, but after three trips to "my stand", I have yet to see one. I have this vision of Mudge sitting around the barrel with his Eastern Shore of Virginia buddies cracking wise about the "slicker" they put up in the "deer don't go there" stand. Be aware friends, it is within him to do so.
Enough of this. I must to the house for another cup of coffee. I wish all of you a great Friday and start of the Christmas Carol Season.
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