Friday, November 28, 2008


An interesting holiday, to be sure.

First, I'm sure there are Crucian Thanksgiving traditions, but I didn't learn them this year. I heard something about potato stuffing. In the store I saw yams bigger than my head – and I have a largish noggin! But we went very traditional this year. Turkey. Bread stuffing. Mashed potatoes. The green-bean thing with the mushroom soup and French fried onion bits (yes we could find them on the island! Surprised me, I'll tell you!) I've always assumed that recipe came from Minnesota.

But all was not smooth sailing. Two days before the holiday the water started spitting when you turned a faucet or flushed the toilet. II checked the cistern and it was full, so that wasn't the problem. Except, as it turned out, it was. We have two cisterns, and we'd been drawing from the back one, which when we opened it up was empty – an excellent place to store a body. Or a whole LOT of bodies.

So I learned a lot about the plumbing of the house in the next 12 hours. Tori figured out how to switch from one cistern to the other. I had to glue back a piece of PVC pipe that had come loose when the pump ran dry. Then I got to learn how to prime a pump.

It's not perfect. You've heard the phrase describing something as "being held together with baling wire?" Well, literally, that's what ours is like right now. Saturday I'll take it apart, re-glue it and put it back together. But that'll mean being without water for at least 24 hours. That takes a bit of planning.

Which means that "pie day" was delayed. Pie Day is the day before Thanksgiving when Tori and the kids make a dozen or more pies – sometimes a lot more. Once I think they made two dozen. This year, what with the late start, only seven pies were made. Which turned out to be more than enough.

Pie Day was also slowed down by the fact that Wednesday was also Alex's birthday. And the next day was Thanksgiving, which is Alex's very favorite holiday. Seriously, she likes it better than Christmas. It's always, all her life, been a time when we get together with crowds of friends (hence all the pies) and it means a lot to her.

Her birthday Wednesday, then her favorite holiday. So, naturally, she got sick on Tuesday. Spectacularly sick, with lots of throwing up and other unpleasantness. Which – let me tell you - was a LOT more fun with no running water for 12 hours. Poor kid. She couldn't have her birthday cake because she'd just toss it back up. She couldn't eat Thanksgiving dinner for fear the sight of the food would make her sick.

So that part of the holiday – not so good. But in all, it was a good day. We flew in an out of he kitchen in teams and shifts and singly putting together the meal, checking the water system, enjoying each other's company. The kids enjoyed the fact that the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which in Oregon airs at 7 in the morning and they never see the beginning, any of it, aired at 11 p.m. here because of the time zones, so they enjoyed the whole thing. Had a delightful dinner and enjoyed each other's company very much.

Then Tori and I took our after T-day dinner walk. We've been doing that since we were first married. Sometimes with the kids, sometimes alone. This year we went alone, because instead of walking through the neighborhood in Oregon with the temp hovering in the low 40s, we were walking along a starlit Caribbean beach with the temp in the low to mid 70s. Who wants kids with you in those circumstances? Even when it rained a little (and with one empty cistern, we certainly didn't object to that) it was warm, and just enough to make skin glisten in the star light.

I can unequivocally state that it was the BEST post Thanksgiving dinner walk I've ever taken. I think the girl by my side agreed with me.

So Thanksgiving. What were we thankful for?

Running water. Health and the fact that Alex seems to be on the mend. Thankful for food and family, and for the friends who are far away but who we thought of a lot during the day we associate with them.



Robin said...

Hope Alex is recovered. Sounds like you enjoyed your T-day.

Hinzi said...

Great TG story! We had an expat Thanksgiving once in Germany, people arriving late, and the largest turkey available maybe 8 pounds. Dinner was served at 11:30 p.m. We had great fun, though!

We have tried to introduce the idea of a German style afternoon coffee party here in the US. It is amazing what excuses people come up with why they cannot have another meal between lunch and dinner on a Sunday afternoon!

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