Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Magic Mom

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I will be absent from the Bloggosphere for a few days as I assuming that all of you will be, but before I dive head first into the cranberry sauce, I want to tell you about my Magic Mom.

This is Karen:

She really looks a lot like Sally Field in that movie with the young Julia Roberts, who was married to that guy, who was on that law show on ABC for a while...Dolly Parton was in the movie too, but I can't remember the name if it--Anyway, Karen is the classiest woman I know and she makes Thanksgiving magic every year.

The day would begin like no other, Karen rising from bed at 3 a.m. to put the turkey in the oven, then all through the house her little humming could be heard as she moved from room to room spiffing up.  Next, she would unceremoniously roust us from our warm beds at which point we would either "go on a run", (escape), or like we did one year, hide in the closet in the attic until dinner time.  While I can't remember in great detail each Thanksgiving of my youth, I can remember with perfect clarity the hustle and bustle and general joy of the day.

It seems there were always about 20 people for dinner, and sometimes, people who were not even invited would show up.  Both my parents have hearts the size of Saskatchewan, and are the source from which I inherited The Invisible Tattoo.  So needless to say, sometimes we had a lot of guests.

Thanksgiving could always be counted on to be a crazy, and a fun day. There were no less than 12 side dishes along with the usual turkey, gravy and rolls. My mom is a wonderful cook--except for the year she got it into her head to make her own stuffing--from then on, we were a Stove Top family--making our own stuffing was my first lesson in cost/benefit.  The "cost" of time and worry was just too high for the "benefit" of seasoned bread.

I wrote a poem about 700 years ago which captures the essence of Karen's joyful Thanksgiving countenance as well as the general feeling in our home each Turkey Day.

Thanksgiving Thanks

light the candles!
thank goodness for fire resistant water and 
tell your brother we will be eating in
five hours and thirteen minutes and 
I want him ready
he is so slow...

bring down the dining room chairs
I know that turkey baster is around here somewhere
turn that music down!

and add that to my to-do list, 
we never have many trick or treaters"

"that was last month," I mutter

"I broke a glass!
No one move
until I get it cleaned up
these glasses are so cheap!"

short lady in the kitchen
dance your feasting 

holidays decorated with casseroles
but we rely on their reminder
of the  
little dancing lady
who wallpapers her kitchen window in
scrawled with her
jiving to-do's
in the colorful ink of 
her heart. 
*        *        *

Thank you, Mom, for wonderful memories and for teaching me to celebrate life.  
Your magic touches me everyday.
I love you!

And to all of you: May your Thanksgiving be full of family and joy and may you celebrate the prosaic moments together, tomorrow and forever!
Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Stove Top??!! That's blasphemy!

    A very grand and happy Thanksgiving to you, Lisa!! And next week, after I survive T-day and YWIE, El Sombrero is a must (or Thai Poloi, if that's how you're rollin' now...)

  2. Happy Thanksgiving, Darling. Hugs and kisses to you all from us. xoxoxo!

  3. (writing from Alisha's account)
    Karen? How come my name can't be Magnolia or something exotic? What a great blog, thanks for the memories, but one thing... I don't seem to remember humming, I am sure that was a figment of your imagination. Only my grandmother did that!!!!!
    I love you my beautiful daughter, and I hope your Thanksgiving was full of Harry Potter!

  4. Ok, Karen, I hear you. From now on, you will be called Magnolia. I will hitherto describe you as a 7' tall super model, who would rather be caught dead than hum to herself, and who never walks like a herd of elephants through the house...:) I love you Magnolia!