It’s very early on Thanksgiving Day. My husband snores softly in our bed. I snuggle close to him thinking of all I have to do today. I lay there, warm and cozy, enjoying this time of peace. The house is quiet. Thirty minutes later I slip out of bed to start my day. I gather a pile of laundry and tiptoe out of the room. Quietly, I go downstairs to start the wash and check on the turkey. I set it to brine last night and I just want to check on it. It remains as I left it – floating in a bath of salt water, herbs, and spices. I walk around the house making mental notes of all that needs doing before guests arrive.
It’s early on Thanksgiving morning. My husband is up. He’s rearranging the family room — pushing the sofa back, making space. Impromptu tables and chairs will be set up to accommodate those guests who want to eat their meal watching football on television. He’ll clean the bathroom and mop the kitchen floor. Then, he’ll wait to see what else I might put on his “honey-do list.” While he waits, he’ll get his paper off the porch and read the news of the day.
It’s Thanksgiving morning. I lift the turkey out of the brine, rinse it, pat it dry, and prepare it for roasting. When I’m done, my husband puts the roasting pan, now filled with a 15 pound, stuffed turkey, into the oven. I wash the dishes and disinfect the kitchen counter.
It’s noon on Thanksgiving. I get the tablecloths out, run the iron over them, and dress the tables. I count out flatware, set out glasses, and make ice tea and lemonade. The turkey sits cooling on the counter while I gather serving dishes, serving bowls, and serving forks and spoons. Fresh rolls of tissue are placed in the bathroom and paper hand-towels are put out for guests. A quick walk through my house shows that all is in place.
It’s 3 o’clock on Thanksgiving Day. Two of my sisters arrive to help put the finishing touches on dinner. We greet each other noisily and offer hugs and kisses. I make space for potato salad in the refrigerator and direct them to put the sweet potatoes in the oven with the macaroni and cheese. We move quickly but not hurriedly. We’ve danced this dance many times and we know what to do. One gets the cranberry sauce out of the fridge and spoons it into a bowl. Another arranges vegetables and side dishes on the counter.The doorbell chimes as we work More greetings. More hugs. More food.
It is 4 o’clock on Thanksgiving Day. We gather in a circle, hold hands, and say a prayer of thanks. We ask God’s blessing upon the food and upon us. We give thanks for all we have and all that we are. We recognize those that are no longer with us or, for various reasons, could not join us. We shed a tear, share a laugh, then grab a plate.
It is Thanksgiving Day. My house is overflowing with family, with laughter, with love. I am joyful. It is Thanksgiving Day.
Happy Thanksgiving from Makeup on Aisle 64.
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