Thanksgiving Ten

Our long Thanksgiving weekend has passed in a blur of activity, a whirlwind of fun, and a whole lot of snot.

(I have a cold. It’s horrendous. I just recovered from the Lingering Chest Cold, and blam! I have now been sideswiped and ambushed by Head Cold ’10.)

(I don’t understand why the germs keep attacking me. I wash my hands like I’m borderline OCD. I don’t sip on juice box straws after someone else does. I consume vast quantities of Vitamin C. And still, the germs are finding me. And they are wearing me down. And also slowly destroying me.)

Because both my family and Hubs’ family live right here, in Small Town, USA, we spend our holidays bouncing back and forth between everyone in a whoosh of activity that rivals a cardiovascular workout.

Round One of the Thanksgiving Weekend started on Wednesday night, at our house. Hubs spent the entire day smoking a turkey, and we ate with my family and our friends, Peggy and Jenna, and OH MY WORD! We went to bed suffering from bellies distended with a hearty meal.

On Thanksgiving morning, the plan was to meet at Sister’s house, for a light breakfast, which would constitute Round Two. I say the words light breakfast, because that is the exact phrase Sister used. I believe she said, “I’ll buy some of those itty-bitty powdered donuts for the kids, and we’ll make lattes and eat fruit.” After Wednesday night, this promise of a light breakfast was sounding like something that could be done, and done easily.

Sister ended up making omelets. Three-Egg Omelets, so you know, HUGE! Sister can whip eggs and mushrooms and onions and cheeses and peppers into a sweet culinary delight, and we had to spend some serious time bemoaning the fact that Sister had, indeed, LIED to us when she spoke the words light breakfast. Thankfully, breakfast was early enough that we had a small stretch of time in which to recuperate before the next phase of ALL THE EATING began.

Mam spent some time cooking at Sister’s house. The boy commented, “With all that steam in the kitchen, it looks like Mam is stirring potions!”

After consuming their Three-Egg Omelets, the big boys made their way to the sofa. And the football. And the statements of We-Are-Watching-This-Game-Even-Though-Our-Eyes-Are-Closed-So-Please-Don’t-Shut-The-Big-Screen-Off-Or-Someone-Will-Have-Broken-Fingers began.

The boy and his cousins, L and K, passed on the Three-Egg Omelets, because MINIATURE POWDERED DONUTS! Their faces were covered in white sugary goodness. I threw some chunks of fruit onto the boy’s breakfast plate, and I believe his exact words were, “I don’t have any room for that fruit; I ate too many donuts.”

And then the little people simply moved from one sugar experience to another, as Sister had gingerbread houses to build, and they only fought a TINY BIT over who would be the Brick Layer.

Brick Layers, you see, are fully in charge of the bag of squirtable frosting. Being the Brick Layer in the construction of a gingerbread house is actually even better than being the King of the village, because the King never really stoops to manual labor.

Apparently manual labor, when it involves a bag filled with icing from the sugar cane plant, is the most fun you can have indoors.

After a Thanksgiving breakfast of powdered donuts, the kids did indeed dismantle the gingerbread house. They ripped chunks off of it faster than Hansel and Gretel could ever have hoped to do, and they inhaled it.


I think they were all afraid that if they didn’t ingest the gingerbread house and the decorative gumdrops quickly, some adult on a Food Pyramid Policing Policy would command them to drop the shingles. And the dry wall. And the gumdrop trees.

Eventually, we wrapped things up with my family, said our good-byes, gave out our hugs, and drove to Small Mountain Town, which is a speck on the map that is very close to Small Town. Hubs’ parents live in Small Mountain Town, and we were on to Round Three, because this is the holiday of OVEREATING.

Hubs’ mama had an impressive spread of food laid out on the dining room table, and we ate again, until Hubs announced, “I am giving up eating! I am actually not going to eat for the next week!”

I couldn’t have agreed more.

With a diabetic coma settling in on all of us, Grammy and Hubs’ sister (Aunt Pink) and I cleared off the dining room table and played a game called Squibblish with the kids. You had cards in the beginning, with phrases on them. You wrote your phrase on a slip of paper, which was threaded through a miniature plastic easel, and you passed it to someone else, who DREW your phrase. Then, you pushed the paper further through the plastic easel, so that your phrase was out of the line of vision, but your picture was still visible, and the next person had to decipher your drawing and write what they THOUGHT was happening. This went on and on and on, until FINALLY the kids were allowed to pull their giant rolls of paper all the way out, where they laughed until their sides hurt at all the funny pictures, and how the original phrase (much like in the game of Telephone) was lost and destroyed.

W was a pro at the game. (And yes, he has red eyes. And yes, I could fix that in Photo Shop, but THE TIME, PEOPLE! Work with me here. It’s been a long weekend, and I have a head cold, and the red eyes are staying tonight.)

The boy and his cousin B weren’t half bad themselves at the game.

R spent the entire game yelling out, “Whose handwriting is this? I can’t read it AT ALL!”

Dear R, boys do not have the best handwriting in the world, but they know where bullets go in guns and they can parallel park. Love, Aunt Jedi Mama

Miss A was a fantastic artist, and when she drew a man eating a cookie, the boys decided that it was a monkey eating a pizza. There was some disgruntlement on Miss A’s part that the spots on her circular cookie were CHOCOLATE CHIPS, and not pepperoni slices spread out on pizza dough. Miss A does not back down from boys, and she assured them that they all needed glasses, because chocolate chip cookies and pepperoni pizzas were LOADS DIFFERENT.

M giggled throughout the entire game, and insisted that sometimes chocolate chips look a whole lot like pepperoni slices, especially when HIS SISTER draws them.

On Thanksgiving night, Hubs and the boy and I waddled home, where we collapsed with Food Consumption Exhaustion, until the boy announced, “Well, I think I’ll have another piece of that pumpkin pie Mam left for me.” Clearly, our boy has learned to pace himself.

On Friday, the boy and I busted out some chores at home, while Hubs installed new computers in an office downtown. And then, we piled into the Suburban, because Santa Claus had come to town, and the boy had some requests to make!

We met Sister and L and K, along with Regs and her pack of cuties, and we stood in line for what seemed like eighteen years, but was really closer to just an hour. The kids swarmed around us, laughed their heads off, and only one of them spilled her hot cocoa all over our feet.

After our visit with Santa (during which the boy emphatically announced that he would love to have a chemistry set, and not just ANY chemistry set, but a DECENT chemistry set, which involves liquids that can explode, when mixed together), I went home with a stomach ache to beat the band, while Sister and Regs went out to eat. I felt perfectly awful, and swore that I would never eat three enormous meals, followed by massive quantities of leftovers, ever again.

At 7:00 on Friday night, while I was suffering from the Stomach Ailment and moaning softly to myself because I was missing dinner with Sister and Regs, Enzo called. His one request? “Can the boy spend the night at my house?”

Indeed he could. I helped him pack his bag, I shoved him out the door, and I collapsed in Hubs’ recliner, smack in front of the big screen TV. Hubs was still working on computers across town, and I had, FOR WHAT MAY HAVE BEEN THE FIRST TIME IN EIGHTEEN MONTHS, the TV all to myself.

And the TV let me down!

I channel surfed for forty-five solid minutes, and found nothing to dedicate my time to, so I went to bed with my stomach ache and my book.

My book, which I borrowed from Cody. It’s delicious. It’s also 550 pages long, so I might as well have committed to reading War and Peace or even Moby Dick, for all the time it’s taking me to get through this novel. (I fully blame old episodes of Arrested Development on the iPad at night, which has drastically cut into my reading time.)

On Saturday, we did nothing. The boy was still off at Enzo’s house (where he had stayed up until 3:00 in the morning!), and Hubs and I were alone. We made coffee at home. We sat on the sofa. We sat on the other sofa. We sat on the first sofa again. I read a book. Hubs watched a recorded Colorado Avalanche game. I played nineteen consecutive games of Scrabble Blast on the computer.

People, I cannot even remember the last time we had a day like that.

Eventually, the boy and Enzo migrated in our direction, where they ended up playing video games in our basement, while they looked exactly like zombies. They had slept between the hours of 3 AM and 5 AM. The bags beneath their eyeballs could have been checked at any airport. Their pupils were glazed over.

And then, at precisely 6:30 PM, the Head Cold hit me. I had fully recovered from my stomach ache, and I simply said to Hubs, “You know, I feel like a cold is coming on.” By 7:00, I was a victim. Head Cold ’10 had fully settled upon me.

The boy had been asleep since before 7:00 (sleeping only two hours the night before will do that to a ten-year-old boy), so I found a bottle of NyQuil, and I did imbibe. It has been a long, long time since I used the NyQuil, and I was prepared to fight this cold from the get-go with the big guns.

I crawled into bed at 7:25.

Yes, at 7:25, on a Saturday night. Don’t judge me. My dance card was empty, I had nothing to do, Hubs was invested in an Avalanche hockey game downstairs which involved a whole lot of cheering, and my book was calling me.

At 8:30, after having read for an hour and accomplishing some more of the 550 pages, I felt the NyQuil strike me down, and I went to sleep.

And listen, people. I always have the strangest dreams when I’ve taken the sauce. Or the cold medication. Last night, I dreamt that Hubs had found an old poster that advertised a brand of soup that was popular in the late 1800s in the trunk of his car. The poster was painted by some obscure artist, and the brand of soup was no longer around. I told Hubs that perhaps (PERHAPS!) the poster was worth some money, because it seemed to be in mint condition, and it was old, and it was fabulously painted. Hubs checked into it, and he announced to me, “This guy just gave me $1,300 for that poster! Can you believe it!” I was shocked, but then I told Hubs, “Maybe we should have researched its value more.” And do you know what happened? The guy who bought it from Hubs to the tune of thirteen hundred clams put it on the auction block. Hubs and I went to this auction, and the opening bid was FIVE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS. The soup can poster eventually sold for SIX HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE MILLION AMERICAN DOLLARS, and I told Hubs, “Hmm. $1,300 doesn’t seem so grand any more, does it?” I asked Hubs what he’d do if he had $625 million in REAL LIFE, and he said, “Well, I wouldn’t be going in to work on Monday morning.”

And then I woke up, because Cat 2 was destroying a plant that sits near our bathtub, and the noise of the plant’s death woke me up. I jumped out of bed, toting my pillow behind me, and I swung that pillow at open air. Cat 2 was on one side of the bathtub, and I swung at the opposite side. I felt like I’d been hit with a tranquilizer dart, and I was terribly woozy, and then I remembered that I usually take HALF OF A DOSE of NyQuil, instead of the full dose that I’d taken Saturday night. I held onto the wall, stumbled back to bed, and blacked out, so Cat 2 lived to see another sunrise.

(If anyone would like to adopt Cat 2, I am now taking applications. Having her around is like having a raccoon in the house. A raccoon who destroys house plants.)

This morning, Hubs and the boy and I went to church. The boy ventured off with Mam and Pa for lunch, and Hubs and I ran some errands.

(Terribly exciting news, I know.)

Afterwards, the boy and I collected Enzo, and we went to see the movie Tangled, which is in 3D.

I have no depth perception. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Without depth perception, you cannot see 3D-ness. I have never had depth perception — I was, in fact, born without it. It’s so bad, I have to get a little letter from my eye doctor every time I renew my driver’s license which says, “Jedi Mama will flunk the eye exam; however, her driving skills are superb, stupendous, and amazing. Please gift her with a license to operate a motorized vehicle.”

While everyone else sat in the theater, ducking when arrows were shot straight at them, I sat their like a total dummy and took the shot to my head. I laughed as everyone kept swinging sideways to avoid things, and there I was, unable to see any of it pop out at me. 3D movies usually give me motion sickness, because all I see is GLORIFIED BLURRY.

The movie was fantastic! Enzo and the boy and I laughed until our sides hurt, and listen to this. Dory, from Finding Nemo, has always been my favorite cartoon character. Always. And then today, the horse named Maximus may have just bumped her to the Number Two Favorite. The horse alone is worth seeing that flick for!

And then A MIRACLE!

Right there, towards the end of the movie, the villagers releases thousands and thousands of floating, glowing lanters, and LISTEN, PEOPLE!

I TOTALLY SAW TWO LANTERNS COME RIGHT SMACK AT ME! I had to duck out of the way and everything, so that I wouldn’t get smacked in the head by the floating lanterns! I almost wept with the miracle that was this miniscule episode of a 3D break through for me!

And then…nothing else.

I have seen my first piece of 3D-ness. One, lone piece. There may be hope for my vision yet.

And now, we are home.

And there’s a veritable blizzard outside.

And my head cold is still raging.

And really? I think HALF a dose of NyQuil will suffice me tonight.

Happy Sunday evening, y’all.

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