Amidst all the planning, packing and cleaning that must happen before we load seven people in a van to drive to Virginia for Thanksgiving, I paused to look at Leeli's sore throat. As I held her cheeks in my hands and tipped her head back, there was no mistaking the warmth of a fever creeping up. My mother-instincts told me it was strep throat, so I called the pediatrician, hoping for a quick visit complete with an antibiotic and a ticket to ride. Alas, it was not to be. I suspect the nurses in the pediatrician's office were as eager to get out as I was to get in. That, and the fact that she hadn't been exhibiting symptoms long enough to pass a strep culture left us 36 hours away from the next available slot at the doctor's office. We made an abrupt about-face and canceled our plans to travel. The kids were sad that our preparations had been in vain; Mr. Dub and I were sad that we weren't going to spend the weekend with his parents, and it was dawning on me that I had made no preparations for a Thanksgiving dinner, with the big meal about 18 hours away.
I am thankful that we had a turkey in the freezer. Out she came, and the plans for a quiet feast at home began. The kids helped peel the apples for the pie, and we made a list of the essentials. Amazingly, we had most of what we needed already in the house. I am grateful there was still time to make a quick trip to the store for the extras.
I am thankful for a Thanksgiving dinner that was born, planned and executed in less than 18 hours. By bedtime, the turkey was in the brine, the homemade cranberry sauce was being test-tasted for the 37th time because it came out so delicious; the pies were in the cooler and the plan was in place. It was at that point that my sister and parents, who were spending an equally quiet Thanksgiving at their home, insisted that we join them. They had spontaneously cooked their bird Monday night after my Uncle's funeral, and had decided to call one turkey enough for the week, and were planning a simple meal sans poultry. When they threw caution to the wind and insisted that we come, plague and all, I was happy to share our part of the feast that came together so easily. It was a delightfully relaxing and enjoyable day.
I am also thankful for a family that rolls with the punches. When the first pan of homemade crescent rolls was burned to a charcoal crisp in the oven with the convection setting on, we exiled them to the garage and watched the second pan a little more closely. And when I pulled out the Thanksgiving skit, everyone accepted their roles without complaints, and then played their parts with gusto. The part of narrator was taken away from me, since without my glasses, I kept calling Puritans "Plimptons" and who knows what else. I gladly stepped in as a Puritan woman with my mother, and we added great flair to our signature line of "Mercy Me!" I am also thankful for the Indian Men, who, were indeed "Big and brave" and made me laugh.
I am thankful for parents who made room for seven extra guests at their table, plague and all.
AND, I am grateful, in a way that makes the fillings in my teeth quiver, for the old-fashioned coconut cream pie that came from my oven to the Thanksgiving table. A craving-turned-culinary-creation to die for.
I'm thankful for my sister, who loves to wield the camera.
She had that thing up and pointed so many times, I started to harass her a tiny bit by the end of the day, but now I am thankful that she had it, as she is the eye behind the lens of all the pictures in this post.
And then there was
-the skirt that got sewed,
-the room that got painted,
-the college application and essay that got written,
-the brake job that Mr. Dub (and his car genius) executed
-the black Friday shopping that happened,
-the excursion to the temple,
-the house that got decorated for Christmas
knowing that our missionary was feasting in the parallel universe of the MTC dining hall.
It's been a whirlwind weekend of gratitude for sure.