Saturday, November 21, 2009

Another Friday Five - On Saturday

From RevGalBlog Pals:

The Cure

Lying around all day
with some strange new deep blue
weekend funk, I'm not really asleep
when my sister calls
to say she's just hung up
from talking with Aunt Bertha
who is 89 and ill but managing
to take care of Uncle Frank
who is completely bed ridden.
Aunt Bert says
it's snowing there in Arkansas,
on Catfish Lane, and she hasn't been
able to walk out to their mailbox.
She's been suffering
from a bad case of the mulleygrubs.
The cure for the mulleygrubs,
she tells my sister,
is to get up and bake a cake.
If that doesn't do it, put on a red dress.

--Ginger Andrews (from Hurricane Sisters)

So this Friday before Thanksgiving, think about Aunt Bert and how she'll celebrate Thanksgiving! And how about YOU?

1. What is your cure for the "mulleygrubs"?

It used to be to go out shopping for something I didn't really need, but that I really wanted - kind of "I deserve this" mentality. Nowadays, I tend more to call a friend, or to cozy up on the sofa with my knitting and a Netflix movie.

2. Where will you be for Thanksgiving? We're going to my youngest sister's home to celebrate with her family. They used to live about an hour from us, and we shared Thanksgivings with each other. They've moved further away, so now it's a 5-6 hour drive. We both miss the huge family celebrations of our childhood - our family of 7, my aunt and uncle and their 2 children, another aunt and uncle and their 2 children, and very early on, my grandmother. As the years went on cousins married and added their families. I think our largest celebration had almost 30 people around the table. This year, one son is in Los Angeles, and the other is on his way to spend the holiday with friends in England. So there will be 6 of us around the table.

3. What foods will be served? Which are traditional for your family?

Turkey with stuffing (inside the bird, and outside the bird), mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce, squash, turnip, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, apple pie, and mince pie. All of these except the green bean casserole are "our" traditional foods. The green bean casserole is traditional in my brother-in-law's family. This is a somewhat pared down list of the traditional clan foods which also included creamed onions, a tray of celery/carrot sticks, olives, sweet pickles, mixed nuts in the shell, tangerines, dates, grapes, figs, and pecan pie.

4. How do you feel about Thanksgiving as a holiday?

I love it! I hate the growing trend of this holiday being overshadowed by Christmas advertising and hoopla. It's being lost. I think I love it because it's such an inclusive holiday - no matter your faith, no matter your lack of faith, everyone has an opportunity to recognize the things they are grateful for. It also triggers strong childhood memories for me: Making an elaborate centerpiece when I was about 6 years old. A weird one, for sure, but I remember the effort I put into it -- a mirror that I laid flat on the table and surrounded with cotton balls. Then I made clothespin Pilgrims and had them ice skating on the pond. I don't have any idea what inspired this delight, but I remember the pride I took in it, and I can only imagine what my mom was thinking as I created this -- Pilgrims ice skating???

5. In this season of Thanksgiving, what are you grateful for?

I am grateful for many things, big and small. My children are happy with their lives and are good men. My husband and I have jobs and are relatively healthy. We have what we need. The stars in a clear night sky. Coffee. My washer and dryer. My fleece robe and slippers. The chance to go visit one of my sisters and her family. . . .

BONUS: Describe Aunt Bert's Thanksgiving.

Aunt Bert, sitting at a card table in Uncle Frank's room. The table is covered with a lace tablecloth, and a huge 3 layer coconut cake sits in the center. Aunt Bert is slicing the cake. Her red dress is protected by a voluminous apron. They are smiling and talking with each other.

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