Thursday, November 27, 2014

One Thanksgiving Day In Lloyd, Florida

Oh my. And yes. And oh my.
It was a beautiful day. I never once got stressed out. I just let things flow and be as they were. And everyone helped.
Hank does so much at Thanksgiving. He sets out the pre-munchies, the cheese and crackers and vegetables and dips and salsas and chips. He totes things from the garage refrigerator to the kitchen. He sets up the tables and chairs. He puts on the music which he knows will make his mama happy from Lyle Lovett to the Dixie Chicks. He brings Anna, our friend, who has had Thanksgiving with us for six years now. Anna is my coffee sister and the one who reaches up to get things off of shelves that I can't reach because she is a statuesque Norwegian woman from South Dakota. And oh, how I love to hear her laugh! When we first met Anna, she was naught but a lowly grad student. Now she is Dr. Anna and a history professor. We are so proud of our Dr. Anna.
Lily brought vegan everything. Mac and cheese. Cornbread dressing. Roasted brussels sprouts and sweet potato salad. Apple pie. Pecan chocolate pie. Rolls. Is that all? Good Lord. That is enough. And she helps get everything together and makes us all laugh and tends her boys like the mama bear she is. She was so beautiful in a deep violet skirt and a turquoise shirt and I called her my Mexican daughter because that's what she looked like.
Jessie got up in time for the Aunt Lynn Whoop-I-Aye rum toast. My dear, darling friend Lynn always used to come over on Thanksgiving morning while I was cooking to do a shot of rum with me and dance with me. It was our ritual, our tradition, and every year on Thanksgiving, at one point we have our Lynn shots. Lynn was one of the most joyful, dancing, love-filled people I ever knew in my life and when she would take a shot of rum, she would always say, "Whoop-I-Aye!" and I'm not sure why but that is what we do now too. Today it was Anna and Hank and Jessie and Lily and me and then Vergil came in the kitchen and he said, "What? What's this?" and we told him and offered him a Lynn shot and he did one too. We taught him to say, "Whoop-I-Aye!" and I know how happy Lynn would be to see our Jessie with such a sweet, good man. That woman loved love. And she was with me when sweet Mean Aunt Jessie was born. And Mean Aunt Jessie wore a beautiful flowing Johnny Was shirt that she bought when we went to Apalachicola together and have my baby back home is such a sweet, sweet blessing.
Mr. Moon shucked oysters and built a fire and roasted some some of them on the fire and searched all over the house to give me one on a cracker and it was delicious. All day long I just kept finding him and telling him, "I love you, Glen Moon!"
And oh. I do.

Jason helped shuck and he played ball with his boys and there is no one in this world whom I would rather have as the father of my grandsons and the husband of my Lily. I am blessed in my sons-in-law.

And trust me- he does have super powers because he keeps Lily happy. And because his sons are so absolutely sure of who they are and that they are loved. 
Jason's mama came to dinner too and it was good to have her here. At one point, Owen came in the kitchen when Lily and Joanne and Jessie and I were all talking and he said, "Are you grandmothers all having a good time together?"
Bless that boy. 

He had a little bit of a hard time today with all the people. When it came time for dinner, he just didn't want any. He and Gibson had filled up on chips and hummus and olives. Mostly olives for Gibson and so after we all said our "we are thankfuls for" Owen was missing in action and so I went and found him in the Glen Den where he was quietly crying. 
"What's wrong?" I asked him. 
"I'm not having the best Thanksgiving," he said. 
"Well, that's all right. Sometimes we get shy. Like the baby kitten. Come on. Let's go give her some treats."
And so we got some salmon dip and some turkey and took them into my bathroom and coaxed our wild child out from under the tub and she ate our treats with great gusto and I said, "Okay. You have to give her a name."
And he named her Ashley. 
I have no idea where he came up with that one but he did and that is her name as far as I am concerned. 
"Oh Mer!" he said. "I love her with all of my heart."

And I love him with all of mine so I understand. 

Gibson ate like a beast and his favorite part was the whipped cream which Vergil whipped by hand with a wire whisk. He didn't want pie, he did not want cheese cake, he didn't want pumpkin bars. He wanted whipped cream. On a plate. With a spoon. 
"Dis my hot pie apple," he said. 
And then he wanted more. And shitfire- I let him have more. So what? When he left he was so tired and he wanted still more of his "pie" and I gave him the spoon to lick because he kept saying, "Please!" 
How can you refuse that? 
When our friend Tom got here, we introduced Gibson to him and he said, "Tom! Tom! Tommy! Can you give me chips?"
And then he led Tom out to the porch where the chips were which some adult had pushed to the far side of the table where Gibson couldn't get any more because he'd already had so many. 
I'm sure that Tom pushed them back where he could get some. 

And so it went. There was turkey and stuffing and dressing and gravy and green beans with almonds and tomatoes and greens and the brussels sprouts and sweet potato salad and sweet potatoes with apples and pecans and guava-maple syrup and two types of cranberries and angel biscuits and stuffed chili peppers and ambrosia salad and oh...well. It went on for days. 

Now everyone is gone and here's what Mr. Moon looks like in his chair with Maurice who NEVER sits on anyone's lap.

And that was Thanksgiving and it's been hours since I ate and I am thinking that I might, at this point, be ready for a turkey sandwich. 

We have missed May all day long. I did not think I could throw Thanksgiving without her and we all talked about how much she would have enjoyed today but I know she is having a good time in Atlanta with her sweetie's family. So it's okay. 

But GIRL! we want you home next year! You hear me? 

Thank you Hank and Lily and Jessie and Jason and Vergil and Anna and Tom and Joanne and Owen and Gibson and Mr. Moon for such a beautiful sweet day. Thank you for coming here and being part of it all and bringing delicious foods and for making me laugh and be grateful and for helping to clean it all up too. 
And another thank-you to Vergil who set up the telescope and showed Owen the moon and its craters which caused Owen to say that it was the best, the coolest, the most amazing thing ever. 

And to this old house which has probably had over one hundred and fifty Thanksgivings celebrated within its walls and which so graciously and gracefully welcomed and sheltered yet one more. 

With all of our imperfections and perfections we came together today and it was good. And some of us snorted wine out our noses because we were laughing so hard. 

Love...Ms. Moon

P. S. And this is what I look like tonight in my painter-pants overalls, hoody, and great-grandmother's pearls. So that you know I am real person.


  1. Oh, this made me cry. My thanksgiving was alone in the lake-woods and in a weird pink-rose victorian apartment and it's been beautiful with my boy texting me all day and snow and quiet and the right kind of lonely, but hellfire. Now I sure wish i had all my boys around me and my cats and even the stupid dogs.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Mary Moon. I'm so glad you have that beautiful family and gladder that you can write so damn beautifully.

  2. Yes. This was so beautiful --and so are you!

  3. You are so beautiful. Sounds like a wonderful day. Oysters have become my favorite thing about this region we live in. We had some a few days ago and I was so proud of my girls, slurping them down raw. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your fabulous family.

  4. Okay. I loved the music post. But this. THIS. THIS. I wish the last THIS could have been in an even larger font but you get the picture. The part about Owen. And the kitty named Ashley. And you. And Hank. And the pre-munchies. And the not being stressed. And Gibson and his hot apple pie. I will now read this post over again and savor this day once more.

    Ours was perfect, too. Very good and filled with love and void of stress. Grandma Shugsie was laughing and drinking Budweiser Platinum which, I have since learned, she likes just as much as Bud Light. Ha. I am very, very thankful for you and that you share your life so freely. We have come to love all of the people you love, too.

  5. Oh dear. I just cried at a twitter post by someone who has just lost her husband and is now facing doing the holiday decorating on her own. And now I'm crying at this because it's so full of sweetness and love. Beautiful post.

  6. I didn't cry, but I came close. So much love, so much tenderness in one post. Our Thanksgiving was a tiny nuclear family gathering, and that always makes me a little sad, but that's what happens when you move across the country from family. At least I had both my babies with me for a nice meal, until my daughter had to go to work. She volunteered because why not?
    Anyway, your pictures and words paint a perfect picture, except for the part where May wasn't there. Next year, yes?
    And the shots for Lynne? What a beautiful tradition.
    Enjoy those leftovers :)

  7. So glad that it was a good day. But I knew it would be. We actually enjoyed doing our Thanksgiving just for the two of us--no stress and no expectations with guests. Just us relaxing and enjoying our meal and loving together. Amazing.

  8. I laughed at your joyous sharing of a Florida Thanksgiving! I would like to be able to have all celebrations outside, that would be so rocking..! But it is so cold and snowy already...I could be happy to be adopted by your family, I really could. My mom came for a Thanksgiving lunch and it was good. The dog even settled down and stopped her barking. Blessings from the heart, Carroll

  9. Beautiful Thanksgiving! We were graciously invited by our son's girlfriends family to join them and it was good, I wish they had oysters though, but they are not for everybody. Gail

  10. Ramona Quimby- Life just takes all sorts of turns and twists, doesn't it? How I wish you could have been here. I think you would have enjoyed it. You would have been so welcomed. You and ALL your boys and the cats and okay, even the dogs. Thank you for your sweet words.

    Elizabeth- I am OLD! How did this happen?

    Ms. Vesuvius- I'm proud of your girls too! That's awesome! Happy Thanksgiving weekend to you, dear.

    Gradydoctor- I think that Ms. Shugsie and I would get along real, real well.
    It was such a beautiful day here. I'm glad it was for you as well with your beloveds.

    Jo- My family is just so freaking funny and beautiful. And when I say "family" you know what I mean- blood ain't everything. Love is.

    Mel- Small Thanksgivings can be beautiful. I remember one, particularly, when Hank was a baby. I will enjoy my leftovers. I wish there was leftover rum, though!

    Syd- Sounds perfect and I love to visualize you and your beloved in your beautiful home with your love and your animals. Thanks for being part of my world.

    Carroll- Jessie and Vergil brought their dog Greta who played with the boys so much that by the end of the evening she was curled up on a rug in the kitchen, barely able to move her tail.
    Thanks for the blessings! Back at you!

    Gail- Go find you an oyster bar and let that be a post-Thanksgiving-Friday event!

  11. You remind me so much of the actress Tyne Daly in her role as Maxine Gray on the former TV series Judging Amy. I hope you see that as the compliment I intend it to be. Not just the physical resemblance but the kindness and sincerity also. I am glad you had a good day with your family and friends.

  12. We used to have seafood the Sunday after Thanksgiving every year. I don't know why we stopped, my Mom I guess, she was not a seafood fan. I think I will do that Sunday. Gail

  13. There is so much to this post so I won't comment on it all. Just a thank you for sharing your Thanksgiving with us.

    Ashley is a good name. It could be a boy or girl's name.

  14. Oh what a big beautiful day.
    I could eat whipped cream with a spoon.

  15. We love you all so much Mary. I was delighted to read your post even though I thought we covered so much on the phone. Ha!! A beautiful tale of my beloved Moons. Thank you, as always, for sharing your life with us. Hugs and kisses to all. xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo

  16. Ah, so THAT's where "Ashley" came from. I was wondering! I'm glad you had a great Thanksgiving with your family all around you (or almost all around you, sans May) and I'm sorry I am so behind on your blog! Good grief!


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