We held Thanksgiving over here at our little 900 sq. foot house hosting both my parents and Will’s. We had Will’s sister Mandy, and her husband George and their two kids Forrest, age 10 and Riley, age 9 , and Will’s two kids, Lars and Bronwyn, twins at 17 and seniors in high school, and my daughter Flannery age 13.
Riley was talking all about electricity. He had just learned a bit about it and couldn’t stop talking about what he had understood. The ones who listened were bowled over by all of the deep understanding he had for it. Bronwyn told me she had just learned that stuff last year. Both Riley and Forrest are future geniuses.
Flannery had just pierced the carteledge in her ear, so she was worried about infection. Lars, bolted right away up from watching Roku to inspect her ear, happy for her piercing. He pierced both sides of his nose this year, much to our mutual delight. Lars patted Flannery’s arm and said, Yea, that’s gonna hurt for a bit, and smiled one of his incredibly beautiful smiles which slays us all. Flannery was delighted that Lars took such an interest, and she felt he was proud of her, it made her night. She kept pulling me aside and telling me that Lars was proud of her piercing. Yes, I think he was.
Bronwyn talked about her carteledge piercing, and Flannery and B traded details about puss, and the downfalls of too tight an earring back etc.
Forrest and Riley arrived with their parents around 5:30 and approached the party with much trepidation. I caught Forrest with a look on his face after first greeting both grand parents and walking back towards the kitchen and then looking back at his brother Riley talking still, of nah…not gonna do it, can’t do it, as he thought about walking forward to meet my parents for the first time and greet his grandparents. I laughed and put my hands on his shoulders and told him I loved his reaction, and that yes, I understood, and that no, he didn’t need to go in, and yes, lets get you to Flannery’s bedroom where you can pay chess with Lars or watch a documentary. He smiled ear to ear and Lars guided him in.
Bronwyn and Lars had never met my parents before, and I had never met Will’s parents before so there was much nervousness on both parts. It all seemed to flow pretty easily.
Lars who usually wears jeans halfway down his legs, and a t-shirt, both ears pierced with large square diamonds, and two nose piercings, wore a red Brooks Brother’s button down I purchased for Will from Out of the Closet and Catholic looking maroon cardigan of Will’s. He looked absolutely divine. He decided to roll up his 501’s and wear his white tennis shoes. He walked around the house smiling, and of course we laughed with delight. He looked like his uncle, Nick, whom Lars seems to take after most of all. We all giggled watching Lars walk about, and I said that all he needed was a gold watch fob. Will jumped up and grabbed a pipe we had purchased from Dr. Hibb’s estate. Dr. Hibbs, a professor at Cal Tech died over a decade ago, and his house was open for an estate sale. We loved the two pipes we purchased because we felt it was the most personal item of the entire offering, along with a small cup his wife made. She was part of the Arroyo ceramicists, and did some beautiful work. Will handed the pipe to Lars, and told him how to point it just so when he made a point. Lars laughed, but pretty quickly put the pipe down. No, that was pushing it too far.
I tried to get my mother and Bronwyn to speak in french together. But my mother, rightly said, no. I hated it when my father used to ask me to speak french in public, what could you possibly say? There is nothing to say in french to show you know how to speak. Conversation done. Now what?
The day had started out at 8:00 am, with Will putting the turkey in the oven. But no, lets go back to 5:00 am when I woke up with much anxiety about the brining turkey. I’ve never hosted or even had a thanksgiving ever, and Will had wanted to brine the turkey. Will is a fantastic cook. But I was worried because we had to brine the turkey overnight in our sink. The turkey sat a bit above the waterline, and the heater was on in the house. I worried that all the ice we put in the sink had melted. I got up and started to grab handfulls of ice from the freezer into the sink. It made a very loud noise because our icemaker doesn’t work, so there is a hole in the bottom of it, and when I scooped out handfulls of ice, some fell on the floor. Over and over small handfulls of ice went into the sink cracking as it hit the luke warm water. Finally I had gotten all the ice in the sink and I returned to bed. Will said in a low steady voice, remind me to never brine a turkey ever again. He was mad. But I smiled, appreciating his brevity in making his point, and I felt badly acknowledging the fact that I had been pretty disruptive to his sleep, and I was sorry now that I forgotten to close the door to the bedroom better, and I felt his pain. He is sweet, even when angry, and these small hurts go away quickly and we both fell back to sleep.
From 8:00 am until just before everyone arrived Lars, Bronwyn Will and I worked constantly in my tiny kitchen. Will took charge of everything, cooking with each child, not only cooking but instructing them as they continually took the helm.
We made fresh pumpkin ravioli, vegan and not, tamales, vegan and not, vegan stuffing, and vegan mashed potatoes. Because Bronwyn is a vegan we wanted to give her as much choice as everyone else at the dinner table and we also wanted her to cook as much as anyone did. She was a fantastic help, always asking what was next.
I made a pumpkin seed salsa, and cranberry sauce with wine and orange rind. We recieved from Mandy enchiladas, and black beans. It was a shuffling match in the end trying to get everything out on the table warm. Our gravy did not work, so we ditched it last minute.
For dessert there were; home made by Will, pumpkin pies, and my mother made her nortorious key lime pie. Will’s parents brought turtle pies and a gift of chocolates for me.
Pies were served with coffee, and the kids retreated to the T.V. to watch Weeds or Dexter. My mother was miffed that the kids all ran off, but we tried to explain that the kids are bonding and that is perfectly fine for them to lay down and watch T.V.
The evening ended with my sister and brother in law dropping by for a final glass of wine, and the parents scuttling home as quickly as they could. A game of Uno with Riley, Forest, Lars, Bronwyn, Flannery, George and I. Then Will and I washing dishes until Midnight, wine glasses still undone.
All in all in went very well. Parents met for the first time, politics avoided, and conversations kept to jazz; specifically to Miles Davis, Lena Horne, Julie London, Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbeck, to raising children, mutual funds, jet engine failures, women’s shelters, missing silverware…