TODAY, I’LL JUST LEAVE THIS HERE—
STAY CALM, and:
Finish shopping for your family, and 75 of your closest friends and colleagues, making sure you stay under that $200 limit you set for yourself this year;
Bake 500 dozen cookies that are so special no one has ever eaten them before;
Decorate at least three trees of varying size for inside your house with different themes, one of which must be woodland creatures;
Check batteries on all those “safe” candles you now own, so the cats and dogs, and babies don’t set themselves on fire;
Add one more string of lights outside, so TV station satellites can pick out the glow of your home from space;
Cook every kind of meat that exists so everyone (including that Uncle we all have) enjoys Christmas dinner;
Cook every vegan dish you can think of so the two people you know who are vegan don’t starve;
Send out at least two thousand Christmas/holiday cards to remind everyone you’ve ever met in your life that you are still alive;
And, most importantly — make sure the liquor cabinet is well-stocked, so you can accomplish all of the above!
Enjoy the holidays . . . and try not to hurt anyone.
From our castle to yours … MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!
AS A “BACK YARD BIRDER” TWITTER HAS A VERY DIFFERENT MEANING FOR ME!
FATHER’S DAY WAS YESTERDAY AND SUMMER ARRIVES TODAY!
TO MARK BOTH OF THESE IMPORTANT DATES ON THE CALENDAR—I DECIDED TO SHARE SOME SPECIAL “TWEETS!” Pour yourself a cool refreshing lemonade, iced tea, or something a little stronger, perhaps? And please do enjoy!
No time to blog this week, so I thought I’d give you a laugh! Happy Turkey Day, everyone!
Thanksgiving is next week. I can’t believe how calmly I said that.
We celebrate Thanksgiving each year at our house—and by “we” I mean twenty to forty immediate family members!
In the old days, when there were seven or eight of us sharing the holiday, the beautifully roasted turkey would take center-stage in the middle of the dining table waiting for the ceremonial (dramatic music playing in the background) carving. It was surrounded by the appropriate side dishes and condiments, with lovely serving forks and spoons of polished silver. Each person had at least two glasses included in their place-setting that rested on a lovely table linen, and their napkins were actually held, just so, in rings of appropriate autumnal materials.
We all sat together,
said “Grace” together,
and sang “We Gather Together” together!
We made Norman Rockwell proud!
Kiss those days good-bye!
Thanksgiving now begins the night before, with the female regulars coming over to peel and cut up every vegetable there is; eating pizza in-between mincing olives for the stuffed celery; arguing over using a food processor instead of knives for chopping onions for the stuffing and gravy; singing and dancing and telling stories of the “old days”; eating chocolates; and drinking wine. Drinking a lot of wine. When the wine is all gone, the evening ends.
The family has grown exponentially. And the next day, Thanksgiving:
It’s buffet-style from the kitchen counters:
Elbowing each other to get to the gravy.
Making “yuck” sounds, as one of the perhaps two people who actually like them, spoon creamed onions onto their plate.
Waiting in line to take your seat at one of the three to six tables in various rooms because the person seated at the end in the corner is still in the kitchen fixing their plate and nobody else can sit down until they do—unless everyone stands up and moves out of the way to let them through—which is not done with smiles on their faces because their food is getting cold!
Make sure you grab a napkin before somebody else takes it!
Invariably, someone says, raising their voice above the din, let’s say “Grace.” Five people actually hear them, and so a syncopated “Amen” is heard.
As the hostess, I try to join at least one or two people as I eat my always over-filled plate of turkey and everything else, before most of the clan are back in the kitchen for seconds.
Finally, when the thirty-seven desserts (I might be exaggerating a bit here) have been transformed from their initial beautiful presentations to mounds of unidentifiable mush, it’s time to do the dishes. At this point, the male family members all forget what their thumbs are for and cannot hold a dishtowel.
Through the evening, laughter is the underpinning of the chaos!
Time is not on my side at Thanksgiving, which is why you will never see an artistic vegetable tray like that pictured above anywhere near my house!
But, in the end, I know I am blessed more than most to have such a large, boisterous, loving, family to be with at this beautiful time of year. So, yeah—
Happy (early) Thanksgiving everyone. Please let me know in the comment section if you have any suggestions for keeping the craziness at a minimum this year!
If you can guess what I have in my pocket, you can have it.” He patted the right pocket of his dirty overalls as he approached.
Glancing around, I discovered I was alone down here with this small skinny boy. How could I be alone? I’d followed at least a dozen other commuters through the turnstile before descending to the platform. I backed away quickly, trying to recall which way I should run to reach the subway steps leading up to the street.
“No thank you,” I replied.
“You don’t even want to guess?” he asked, more aggressively.
I couldn’t move. I don’t know why. I think it was his eyes. They were an iridescent green I had never seen before.
“I’m not very good at guessing,” I told him. Again, I managed to take a few steps back.
“You’re just like the rest of them. Nobody ever wants to play.” His eyes grew brighter.
“I just want to go home,” I said.
“Then try to guess, and I’ll let you.”
I began to shiver. Was it his closeness? Probably the cool draft that’s always present in the subway tunnel. No—this was different. Panic was starting to tighten my throat, making it hard to respond.
“A toy?” I asked weakly.
“Don’t be stupid! If I had a toy, I wouldn’t need you to play with me.”
“A piece of candy?”
“I’ve been down here a long time…if it was candy, I would have eaten it by now,” he scoffed.
I tried to think back to the kinds of things my brothers always had in their pockets.
Trying to buy some time, I decided to ask a few questions of my own.
“How long have you been down here?”
“What year is this?”
“1990,” I replied.
“Then I’ve been here about forty-three years.”
“What? Wait a minute…you’re only about twelve years old—how could you be down here that long?”
“It’s a story I won’t tell, unless you guess right. C’mon, c’mon…make another try.” He was growing impatient.
“A piece of paper?”
“Ha! You’re smarter than the rest. you’re close.”
Oh my God…“Is it a ticket?”
“Hoorah! At last! I knew you were a smart one! And now you may have it.”
The strange, transparent little boy with the mesmerizing green eyes reached into his pocket, pulled out a faded ticket, and handed it over to me with a grin.
“I’ve been saving this since that day I fell onto the tracks.”
I took the ticket from him and squinted to try to read the destination. “Hell?”
All at once I could feel the poke of the elbow into my back pushing me over the side of the platform, and the sharp edge of the iron rail as my head slammed down into the dark gravel. Then came the screeching sound of the train’s breaks as they failed, and the laughter of a young boy.