Gifts of All Sorts

For the last week, I’ve been living in a “Thanksgiving bubble.”  All my thoughts and energy went into preparing Thursday’s meal–my first Thanksgiving in my new home.  I invited my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and Mary and Dave (who bought The Coop and have become like family to me.  It’s funny how something as now-maligned as a real estate transaction could turn into a friendship.  Maybe that’s a new way to do business…the mutually beneficial way.  But that’s a blog post for another day.)

My nephew, Mark, couldn’t make it up from Providence.

While I was in the Thanksgiving bubble, I paid little attention to what was going on in “the news.”  I kept my eyes only on winter storm Cato and how that could impact the indulgent holiday.  According to the National Weather Service, we got 10.5 inches of snow.  It was wet, heavy snow, but I kept up with it and had the first clear driveway on my street.

Everything worked out and it was a lovely day. As I cleared the “kitchen sink island” I reflected how it had been a day of gifts.  There was the gift of snow, of course, which made everything look beautiful and clean.

Then there was Mr. Deehan’s suggestion that I brine the turkey.  It sounded new and complicated, what with my brain on overload from work and mental menu-making.  No worries, he said, and he asked if I had a large stock pot.  Certainement!  He took care of the overnight brining and then stopped by the next morning to truss up the turkey and put it in the oven for me.  What a gift!

When Mary and Dave got here from New Hampshire, they brought gifts.  Stuffed mushroom caps still hot from The Coop’s oven, Italian pastries, and a box of chocolates, wrapped in Moxie-orange paper and ribbons.

Around about one o’clock, things started getting a little dicey…the Thanksgiving witching hour, when everything is almost done at the same time, except the gravy.  And the table isn’t set.  And a multiple of undone things suddenly scream out for doing.  That’s the moment when there’s the gift of my sister-in-law, Miss Mary.  Her turkey feathers never get ruffled and she gives executive orders like a commander-in-chief.  She gave assignments to my brother Jim and encouraged me to keep going through the final miles of the Thanksgiving marathon.

Dinner was served, followed by dessert.

Miss Mary and Jim helped parse out the leftovers and we did a few dishes.  The afternoon shadows fell and Mary and Dave had to head back to New Hampshire.  Miss Mary and Jim left for their house on the other side of the river.  My parents announced that they wanted to help me with the dishes and even though I was tired, I accepted their offer.  I told them to take a seat and I would wash the dishes and they could dry.  They enjoyed performing this domestic duty while sitting down and I must admit that even though many visitors plant themselves on those seats opposite my sink, it had never occurred to me to ask for help in this unique way.

The Dishwasher ChairsAnother gift?  No one posted any pictures of the indulgent day on social media.

Mr. Deehan stopped by the day after Thanksgiving to fix a loose something or other and I unloaded some pumpkin pie on him.  Then I outlined my Christmas light color scheme and made a case for each one.  Red, orange, blue or green?  I stopped and confessed “I know…first world problems.”

Mr. Deehan put it another way…he said “truly blessed” and I don’t know if he was being sarcastic or serious because I haven’t quite figured him out yet, but it caused me to stop and remember that what he was saying was true.

There were a lot of gifts on this year’s day of national indulgence…truly blessed indeed.

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3 Responses to Gifts of All Sorts

  1. Jim says:

    Enjoyed Thanksgiving at your new crib in LFalls. It was bountiful feast, the brined turkey was so delicious, and yes, Miss Mary never gets her feathers ruffled overseeing a T-giving gathering.

    Thankfully, without power on the Durham side of the river, and not having Mark home, it was great having a place to land for Turkey Day. Enjoyed spending it with you, the ‘rents, and Dave and Mary, the new Coop occupants.

    Thanks for the hospitality you extended to us!

  2. Mary Conant says:

    Julie-Ann, Forgive me for not responding to this blog earlier than this but we thoroughly enjoyed our Thanksgiving Day with you and your wonderful family. The meal was superb as well as the desserts of which there were many. As you know, the holidays are difficult for me but this day was very comforting. We both love your new home there in Lisbon Falls. We also love your old home (the coop) as we make it our own little get away. We sincerely appreciate you including us with your family gathering. You are a gracious hostess and we enjoy chatting with your mom and dad and this time it was a joy to get to know your brother, Jim, and sister-in-law, Mary. Hugs

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