Thursday's Child ... has far to go ... (0nm10wn2feet) wrote,
Thursday's Child ... has far to go ...

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My Thanksgiving...

Well, I got a late start, as usual.  This time, it was due to the fact that MSK completely missed the bulletin on arriving at his mother's house EARLY this year.  I had promised his sisters that I would help his elderly mother out all I could today, up to and including making as much of dinner that she would allow.  It didn't quite work out that way, but we still managed to make the poor dear sit down frequently.  She's in her mid 80's, with chronic asthma, so she really shouldn't even TRY all the rushing around she is so accustomed to doing.  Try telling HER that, though!

My mother-in-law is a lovely person... sweet, kind and naive as the day is long.  And soooo vehemently opposed to asking for help, of ANY sort.  She hates the necessity, just as her daughters hate the fact that they live too far away to actually help her that often themselves.  Thus, with the family counting on me to step in, I was behind the proverbial eight-ball after getting up 2 hours late.

I did, however, manage to throw the corn 'souffle' together and get it cooked in time for us to be less than an hour late.  In that time, though, Grandma had managed to work herself into a bit of wheezing.  Immediately upon arriving, we fielded a call from MSK's niece, who had managed to get herself 'turned around' trying to find Grandma's house on her own for the first time.  Fortunately, MSK took that one, and the poor kid arrived soon afterward, following a jaunt to who-knows-where in the Metropolitan Detroit area.  What I found slightly upsetting, however, was her declaration that she didn't "do trees" when told that everyone needed to help Grandma put up her Christmas tree.

Equally baffling was the dear child's insistence on sitting at the table while others helped clear it.  Nor did she even offer to help with the dishes that a huge meal for eight people generates.  I suppose I can chalk it up to her upset at her mother's cavalier attitude toward her getting lost.  Or perhaps it was just the feeling that she had run herself ragged in her waitressing job recently and felt the need to be "waited on."  Whatever it was, it wasn't particularly helpful, but there you have it.  Kids are kids.  Mind you, my own didn't immediately spring up to help either, but they had other things they had to assist with, like the tree and cleaning out Grandma's laundry room.  To his credit, her boyfriend helped out a bit, which WAS greatly appreciated and commented upon.

Eh, whatever.  MSK, my son, our niece and the boyfriend all waltzed out the door shortly after dessert, winging their way to the Northwoods.  My husband and son went for deer hunting, with the niece and boyfriend hitching a ride to see family up there.  My daughter and I were left to completely trim the tree, offer Grandma some 'computer literacy' education, and do the mountain of dishes.  Yes, the dear woman has a dishwasher, but I hated the idea of her having to put away all the stuff that I could cram into it.  So, after everyone else skated out (around 4:30pm), Jessa and I got down to work, pausing at intervals to chat with Grandma, with whom we had a lovely visit.

I finally finished the kitchen and all the dishes around 9:00pm, and Jessa finished the tree and Grandma's computer 'education' around the same time.  Dishes washed, dried, and put away; counters and sink cleaned and spots off the floor... you couldn't tell that a meal for eight had been prepared there when we left.  Of course, my husband only had his icky, short, nasty snowbrush in his car (which I was driving home, my truck having been commandeered by the travelers) and, of course, it snowed more while we were at Grandma's.  Then I discovered that his back doors were frozen shut and the trunk was full of GOLF CLUBS (Why? In Michigan?? In the WINTER?).  In the ensuing struggle to get the leftovers and our belongings into the car, I forgot that MSK had really CRAPPY wipers on that car.

After finally getting the car cleaned off and getting in, I had to stop on a busy divided highway to realign the rubber on the wipers so that they would actually, um, WIPE the windshield.  All the way home, it continued to snow - lightly, but still snow - and none of the roads had been salted recently.  Made for a slightly slippery and SLOW drive home, what with all the other people who couldn't remember how to drive in icy weather on the roads as well.  When we arrived home, we discovered that no one had thought to turn an outside light on for us (they came back here before leaving for 'up north'), and they had also shut off ALL the damn lights in the house.  What fun, eh?  I was amused, to say the least.

By the time we finally got the car unloaded, the dog in and fed (and right back out again), the leftovers put away and heaved a sigh of relief, it was past 10:30pm... way too late to call my own mother and wish her a Happy Thanksgiving.  I'm calling her tomorrow, but I'm sure it will be more of the "too little, too late" syndrome that I seem afflicted with where she's concerned.  Damned if I do, damned if I don't.  I did a good thing for one side of the family, but the other side suffered in the process.  That's just another reason why I dislike holidays with a passion.  Too much work and someone's always going to feel slighted, no matter what I do.

I am thankful, though, that we had a good meal, we enjoyed visiting with the family on MSK's side, and we helped his parents and his niece.  I am thankful that our home is warm, if extremely grubby.  I am thankful that my mother is still alive to call tomorrow.  I'm thankful that my kids are both helpful and kind to their father's parents.  I'm thankful that I live in a country where we can afford the things we have and don't have to worry about being bombed or shot on the streets.  I'm thankful that we can afford electricity, television, cable and hot water.  In short, I am thankful.

And, as the great Scarlett O'Hara once proudly proclaimed, "Tomorrow IS another day."  Or is that today now?  Never mind, I'm tired and confused... G'night and Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!!
P.S. I know the music is hokey, but there is a line in that song that just grabs me... "Can you swear on your life - that no one will cry - at my funeral?"  That's what I'd be hoping for... no one crying and everyone having a good time remembering GOOD TIMES.

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