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 oh...to 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.
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.