Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thematic Photographic 26 --- sans photo

Thematic Photographic without a photo!? What the....? Ok, Ok, my bad. This week's theme is "sweet" and considering I spent Thanksgiving with my family, including my 2-year old grandnephew, 22-month old grandniece, and 4-month old grandnephew, I should have dozens of photographic sweetness. I should, but I don't. Whaaaaaat? Well, I was very busy taking care of dinner with my future sis-in-law, playing with the toddlers, and cuddling the baby --- and napping.

So, how about some Thematic Photographic mental images of sweetness? Close your eyes and picture this... uh, don't close your eyes or you won't be able to read this... ahem.

Wednesday I had a beautiful drive to my home town, 500 miles of midwest rolling hills and ancient Missouri River flatlands. There are tidy farmhouses perched on the hillsides overlooking the most fertile black soil in the world, laying dormant until the spring planting. The columns of steam rising skyward from power plants and grain elevators, created the only clouds in the sky. I travelled with countless families in vehicles of all makes and models from states as far away as Arizona, taking advantage of the sweet gas prices to spend Thanksgiving with family.

When I arrived at my brother's house there were mounds of shoveled snow, leftovers of a brief snowfall last week, and a reminder that I live far enough south that I was surprised, not just at the sight of the snow, but the temperatures cold enough to keep it frozen. The chill of the air was quickly thawed by the sweet warmth of being with my brother Bob, his fiance Beth and my sister Patty.

Twenty family members were expected for Thanksgiving dinner so, after fueling up on an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner, Bob and Beth and I gathered in the kitchen to peel potatoes, prepare casseroles, assemble relish trays, set up tables, and set out the places settings. Oh, can't forget about relaxing with a glass of wine and a toast to the first family Thanksgiving in their new home. Aah, this was a sweet moment washed away all the anxiety that I'd had about driving the 500 miles alone, that made it all worth leaving the three baby-dogs at the boarder.... that made me miss my sweet husband who was in a big rig somewhere on I-40.

After a peaceful night's sleep we all gathered in the kitchen once more for coffee and sweet rolls before preparing the turkey for the roaster. This scene was being played out in millions of homes all across the country. As in our scene I imagine there was talking and laughter amid the clicking of utensils and aromas of cooking. I expect there was also new memories being made which would include funny stories to be told over and over in the years to come. But, do all those kitchens have bloggers looking for new material? Hmmm?

Well, I love my sis-in-law-to-be, so much that I have to tell the story that will live on forever, much to her chagrin. This was her first turkey preparation --- ever, and she was very excited! The turkey was well thawed, the baking instructions were committed to memory, the brown 'n' bag prepared, so all that was left was to unwrap the bird and ......... The next thing we hear is "eeeooouuuu-eeeoouuuu!" then grossed-out giggles from Beth as she squeaked "I touched it! It gushed --- bloody --- cold!" or something somewhat less coherent. I'm not sure I ever uttered those exact words, but I knew immediately the reaction to touching the cold, clammy skin of a 20-pounder, and the gushing of red-tinged water of a well-thawed turkey. Total gross-out the first time. Never mind taking the bags of giblets out of the cavities --- no way way Beth in any condition to tackle that treat! Well, Bob and I wrestled the main course into the roaster and turned on the heat. Speaking of turning on the heat, grinning sweetly I advised Beth that she just became a topic for my blog!

Ok, fast forward to the main action of the day. Guests arrived from both sides of the family all bringing dishes for the feast and sweet treats for dessert. We had scrumptious fruit salads, and rolls. Then there were pumpkin pies, apple pies, cream cheese desserts... how's that for sweet? Then we all gathered around as my brother welcomed his guests, two families coming together for the first of many Thanksgivings together, and invited all to take a few moments of silence to reflect on the blessings that overcome the trials. It isn't easy to list all the blessings in a few moments of silence, even mentally, but those moments were filled with a feeling that comes only when people are gathered together in a spirit of love .... and in His name.

.... to be continued!


Martha said...

Beautiful part 1 - sure wish there were photos to go with it. Sounds like a lovely Thanksgiving :-)

smarmoofus said...

I closed my eyes... what happened?

Kidding! This is a very sweet scene, and I know from experience that no photograph could have done it justice. Great, if unconventional, take on Thematic Photographic this week. (I had turkey duty this year, too... I think I need to blog about it.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lala said...

Hmmm, I thought I remembered being there too...guess not.

Barb said...

Martha, it was a great day!
Smarmoofus, do tell your turkey story!
Lala, not done yet.... to be continued.

me said...

I loved this post, I have snapshots in my mind of your family especially the soon to be bride...