Friday, November 27, 2009
So much work. SO MUCH WORK! Weeks of preparation, waking at the crack of dawn to tress a turkey, invites, invites, invites.. too many invites.. too many people to host. The day is always so much work. But, I do it. I do it every year. I plan and prepare, I assemble a team, I secure a location, I write lists and lists and lists, I delegate and I count, count, count and recount. There are always too many people, there is always over spending, there is always something that goes wrong, terribly wrong. There is ALWAYS so much joy.
It is strange how the task seems to get bigger with each passing year, the group always seems to grow! Alas, I cannot have anyone left unfed, unloved, uncared for on this day; this special day. It is about giving, it is about giving thanks. I realize, living in the city, there are many without families, there are many without a home; there are many that feel they have nothing to give thanks for. Those are the ones I want at my table. Those are the ones I want to serve and slave for, those are the ones I want to bring into the folds, to love on, on this day. And we did. My roommates and I, my closest friends, we worked and we slaved and we laughed and we danced around the house, around the kitchen as turkey juice went flying, as hams took three hours to warm. We danced, we sang along to great music, we shared stories and laughed at each others expense, we drank and we ate and we shared tears. It was a good day. It was a blessed day full to the brim. I find it hard to come down off the high, the high of excitement even in the midst of utter exhaustion.
I roast a pretty good turkey, I have a talent for root vegetables, for setting tables, for beautiful things; but no one noticed the food, they didn’t notice the décor, they didn’t notice the special touches, because the love was so thick in the room. We played football after dinner and dessert after that. Hours later our home was still full. People stuck around, they didn’t want to leave. The music got louder, the dancing began, the naps took place and the laughter never subsided. When the fun began to slow down and the comas set in for the third time, we couldn’t let people leave, we couldn’t push them out yet.. we had to stretch the celebration another hour.. the clock had almost struck midnight and one of our close friends turned 34. We opened another bottle of wine, got out the sparklers and raised our glasses in a toast to his life. It was the perfect end to the evening, celebrating one of our own and coming together as family, on this very special day.
Today I am tired, today I am half dead, but I will do it again, and again and again, because people were loved, they were cared for and they were given family, even if only for the day or perhaps, this is just the beginning.