So there’s that. Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. Eh. I’d ask for a do-over except that would inevitably put more yardage between now and then end of 2009 and that is just not acceptable. We were supposed to go to Ramona’s house for a small, less than celebratory meal because no one was around. Every single person or couple that we usually hang with for Thanksgiving was out of town. Even worse, most of Rhonda’s family was out of town or they had to work. That meant our Thanksgiving dinner was slated to be us four, Ramona, Rhonda’s mom and two elderly Filipinos that I’ve never met before. It may go without saying but I wasn’t wild about that plan. And I don’t mean just because of the company, that’s actually the most minor of considerations. I like to cook. Everyone knows that about me. Thanksgiving is one of my flagship holidays because I get to throw down. It’s not happening this year and that depresses me.
But Wednesday night things changed. In a way that only she can do, Rhonda’s mom altered the plan…I mean everyone’s plans. Everyone was supposed to go to her house instead. Instead of Indiana. Her house in Michigan. That immediately didn’t make sense for us. I mean, it was 7pm the night before. That would have easily put our drive time at seven hours roundtrip (we couldn’t stay because of the dogs and the fact that I needed to get back and work). Rhonda felt it out a little and then made the executive decision that we weren’t going. Good. I was relieved. But then terror struck. What are we going to do for food? Five hours until the day rolled into Thanksgiving and we didn’t have a plan. That’s the kind of thing that can throw me into a panic.
But I’ll take that challenge. When the clock struck 12 officially beginning the holiday, I was checking out at the grocery store with my five pound turkey breast, four drumsticks and a whole host of things to make for sides. I’d already found a Rachel Ray recipe for the turkey breast and an Emeril recipe for cooking the turkey legs on the grill, I’d never cooked either one of them before. I couldn’t do a full turkey because there simply wasn’t enough time for one to thaw.
We didn’t start cooking until later in the day on Thanksgiving because it just wasn’t going to take as long as it usually does with more people, presentation & serving, etc. Then Rhonda’s niece came over. Then the Lombardo’s stopped by. All of a sudden we had a full house. That felt good. But I’ve got to say this. Rhonda and I agree – no matter what food we ended up cooking, no matter how many people we got to see, this year just didn’t feel festive and that was somewhat depressing.
Somewhere in the back of my head there was a lingering thought, a dull and annoying hint at why this year might seem a little melancholy. See, it was hard not to remember a year ago, when we found out we were pregnant. Ugh. We acknowledged it but didn’t talk about it. I thought about it though. Rhonda said she didn’t. There’s a role reversal for you. God, why can’t November be the last month in the year? Let’s wrap this fucking year up already.
So that was that and then I spent the next two days alone. Yep, alone. Rhonda and the girls ended up going to Indiana and Michigan to see her family since we missed them for the holiday. I’ve got this massive fucking event in DC next week so I hung back to prep. It wasn’t the same kind of stag weekend I had last month, that’s for sure. Aside from sit in front of my computer and type, I made a huge Thanksgiving plate for myself and pretended I lived alone so I could see how bad that would suck. Turns out it would suck big time. In fact, because we wiped out all the turkey I made yesterday, I even went to the store and bought a rotisserie chicken to stand-in for a turkey! But I guess that’s what you’d do if you were alone, right? Hmm…no wrong. Wrong if you’re me I guess. I would make a whole turkey. In fact, I am making a whole turkey…today…for my family. We’re going to have a real Thanksgiving before I leave them for four days.
One other thing…after I finished as much work as I could possible get done I called a few people that I haven’t talked to in months, maybe years. One of them was Eli, my good friend from New Mexico. I met him in 1998 and we have always been very close, even though we don’t always talk. We sent me kind of a cryptic email tonight saying to call him. Turns out he’s having a health issue, which is scary for him because he has a lot of them. We talked for a good hour and a half and hopefully I’ll see him in January at XXX’s wedding in Florida. After that I called Danny, another friend living in New Mexico though when I met him he lived in San Diego. Danny helped me get my web sites off the ground in the beginning and I host the other two on his server. I make sure to be very clear when I’m making a social call and when I’m asking him for something because he’s done a lot for me and I don’t want to take advantage. I usually just say “Hey what’s going on? I don’t want anything, just checking in” and that’s good enough. Tonight we talked about parenting, starting businesses, etc. Good to talk to him. I miss that guy.