Monday, November 28, 2022

Thanksgiving Too

It’s odd how things become embedded in family lore.

Way back in the 1970s there was a commercial for Alka-Seltzer. I don’t even know if they make Alka-Seltzer anymore – they must, surely – but it’s been decades since I’ve seen a commercial for the stuff. If you’re not familiar with this product, it’s a tablet that dissolves into bubbles when placed in water and it is meant to soothe upset stomachs. This particular commercial was mostly a tableau of the remains of a vast holiday feast, the table groaning with food and the people strewn around it groaning from the consumption thereof. This goes on for about 25 seconds, and then from offstage you hear a cheerful woman’s voice shout “Bring out the second turkey!” right before they cut to the product pitch.

That became a tag line in my family. We were a group that loved our meals together. We still do.

We spent Thanksgiving Day up at my brother-in-law’s house, along with a hearty representation of Kim’s side of the family. We spent the morning preparing the things we were asked to bring – pizzelles, rolls, a cranberry-apple-current pie, a pumpkin roll – and then loaded up for the journey. Lauren was home for the break and she brought Maxim with her, so we had a pleasantly full minivan on the way up with the five of us.

There was a vast amount of food and family, and we had a grand time. There are a lot of younger kids on that side of the family so there was a proper swirl of activity. I spent most of my time in the dining room with Oliver, Lauren, Maxim, my niece Marin, and Bob (Amy’s dad), sharing stories and food, but others dropped in to visit and occasionally I did venture out into the rest of the house where everyone else was. I had a long conversation about animation with a guy named Dave whose exact relationship to me was never made clear but who was enjoyable to talk with, and I made my rounds to Grandma and Grandpa, Rory and Amy, and various other folks.

I tried to take some pictures but my utter inability to get an iPhone to take usable photographs is becoming something of a running joke (or mild running tragedy, take your pick) these days. Oh well. They always come out flat and grainy, and I suppose I just need to remember to bring my actual camera to these things.

So a good time was had, photographic failures notwithstanding.

But the problem with having Thanksgiving at someone else’s house is that someone else gets to keep the leftovers. Fortunately there is a solution to that.

Bring out the second turkey!

We decided to have Thanksgiving again on Saturday. Oliver invited some of his friends, and when much of Lauren’s old Squad came over on Wednesday night to hang out here after their Friendsgiving dinner at one of the local Mexican restaurants we invited them as well. Not everyone could make it, but in the end we had eleven for dinner – me and Kim, Oliver, Lauren, Maxim, John, Camrin, Jacob, Nolan, Chase, and Kyler – and that was a nice crowd.

We spent the day making all sorts of good food, and for the meal itself we dragged out the wedding china because when else are you going to use the stuff? Might as well put some mileage on it, we say. There was too much food to put on the table (a lovely problem to have) so we just set it out in the kitchen and people dished up there and went to sit down. It was a couple of hours of conversation and laughter and even though a few had to leave early most ended up migrating to the living room for an impromptu sing-along to Mamma Mia, which is about a fine a way to end a Thanksgiving holiday as you could ask for.

I’ve always liked Thanksgiving. It’s one of the few holidays devoted to being glad for what you have rather than asking for more. I am thankful for my family and friends and loved ones. I am thankful for the good people I shared meals with, who brightened my home and who allowed us into theirs. I am thankful for the food and the songs and the laughter. In a world that seems intent on darkening, there is light.

And that is enough.


LucyInDisguise said...

I am SO stealing that last paragraph. (With one minor addition: " ... one of the few holidays devoted to consuming more food than you should be allowed to eat, and being glad ... ")


David said...

"One of the few holidays devoted to consuming more food than you should be allowed to eat?"


Dude, your holidays are different from my holidays. ;)