Saturday, November 30, 2013

Of preparation and feasting...

On Thanksgiving my family always comes here to Fair Winds farm for the feast. It is by far the "biggest" holiday of the year for me, as Christmas tends to be just the three of us here alone. So for weeks before Thanksgiving I am in preparation mode. I wash curtains and slip covers, I polish silver and wash china dishes and bowls and platters. I clean things that I normally ignore. I plot and plan and decorate. My husband helps with big projects, too, and our focused energy gets a lot of things done that we tend to put off. More to be thankful for!

With a little luck everything comes together and on the day before Thanksgiving I am able to spend the day arranging flowers and cooking and happily checking things off my "to do" list.

When the big day arrives I love to look around and see everything in order. The pantry full, dishes laden with delicious food covered and ready to be heated up and served. I get up early, as always, and take care of the animals, then pop the turkey in the oven and tend to all the little details of putting the meal together. Soon enough people begin to arrive, and the driveway is filled with cars. There are warm greetings and hugs, and pile of coats begins to mound up by the door. Sometime after that is when the magic happens for me. I stop and listen... and hear the walls of this old house echoing with happy voices and laughter. This year there seemed to be extra laughs, and it filled me with great joy to hear it. This is the moment that makes the cleaning and shining and cooking so worth it. It is the sound of love all around me.

I have lots of help in the kitchen, and everyone brings something to share for the meal. This year niece Aimee made me beautiful napkins, adding different patterns of stitching on each one. They were the frosting on the cake of our pretty table!

We have two turkeys most years, I roast one and Chris smokes one. His comes out the most amazing shade of mahogany!

When the feast is over some people go for a walk, some drape themselves about and some even nap, but through it all there is still happy chatter, and soon they rouse themselves to check out the dessert table.

Some guests spend the night, and others disperse to go home, still more go to local hotels. In the morning most come back to heap a plate with left overs. Some of us entertain ourselves by decorating ginger bread structures.

And then the holiday is over and we are left with turkey for days and a pile of happy memories. Much to be thankful for, indeed.

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