It was a truly rotten day today, with grey skies and a cold rain pelting down since early in the afternoon. At one point, as the powerful front pushed its way through, it was reminiscent of a cow pissing on a flat rock, so hard did it pour.
Not the kind of evening on which to make a Stupid-Market run, but it could not be helped. After almost a week of serious entertaining and dining, some Larder Essentials needed to be replenished, and it would not do to wait until morning.
Earlier, I had taken Aunt Marge to the airport for her journey back to south Florida. She had arrived last Wednesday afternoon along with her daughter (my cousin!) Diane and son-in-law Charles in order to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday festivities with us... and with Elder Daughter flying in from Washington that same evening, we had a happy houseful. Even the Mistress of Sarcasm and Bernadette bunked in.
We were a happy Mommy and Daddy, SWMBO and I were. We love it when both of the girls are home.
It was a bittersweet Thanksgiving this year, what with our having lost Uncle Phil only two months ago. Nevertheless, the warmth of being with loved ones provided a certain degree of comfort for all of us. When we weren’t stuffing our faces, we would be looking at old photo albums and videos, remembering happy times. And Marge was only too ready to provide a few stories about her adventures with my mother back in high school... at least one of which I had never heard before.
Mom was, apparently, quite a character.
For the holiday proper, we had a small army of friends and family: a score in all. And we dined like kings.
Apple-scented roast turkey with cider-Calvados gravy. Butternut squash soup. Sausage-rice dressing with golden raisins and pine nuts. Cornbread dressing. Roasted root vegetables. Roasted green beans with mushrooms. Carrot soufflé. Green salad. Apple pie with cranberry-Meyer lemon sorbet. Key lime pie.
As if all this were not enough, given that both of our daughters were here, we had our annual Momma d’Elisson Memorial Chanukah Dinner a few days early. It’s a tradition that is now in its twenty-third year: eating potato latkes and take-out Chinese food. We usually do it on the first night of Chanukah, but why wait?
Leftovers? Yes, there were leftovers, and we regrouped to attack them Saturday afternoon. Just to keep things interesting, Gary lobbed in a load of his infamously tasty sweet potato casserole, and I took out the roasted beet salad I had originally planned to serve at the main meal but had forgotten in the back of the fridge.
As magnificent as all the food may have been, the best part was seeing Elder Daughter and the Mistress of Sarcasm enjoying themselves with our Florida family. Family and friends. Of all the everyday miracles I’m thankful for, being in their company is highest on the list.
The house is quiet now; our visitors have all gone home, scattered to the four winds. Whatever hasn’t been eaten has been frozen or tossed out. Life has returned to its normal rhythms... for now. And thus passes another year.