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.
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
little dancing lady
who wallpapers her kitchen window in
scrawled with her
in the colorful ink of
* * *
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!