I love this week. Really I do. We’ve been putting on Thanksgiving for so long that we know how to manage it—even when we goof and realize that the head count of 29 is really 30. We know what to prep ahead of time, how to spread four—no, make that five tables through the dining room and living room—oops, six if you count the little table we put up for the two youngest boys. We know that people will bring extra and that there will be more than enough food, even for teenagers who go back for plates piled with seconds. We know that though the bar has to be set up in the garage, adults will gather on the old rug we spread on the cement floor in front of the table and ignore the tools and shovels lining the walls—while the teens will find a haven in the basement. We know at meal time, as the hosts, my husband and I will have to situate ourselves on the kitchen-side of the table because otherwise, we’d never get out.
I love prepping good food for our family; apple pies, pecan pies, mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans. I love that now that we must have two turkeys, I can try new stuffing recipes, knowing that Mom-in-law will bring her family favorite so I’m not even messing up tradition. I love that our brother-in-law will bring squash and sweet potatoes and creamed onions and that his quiet assurance will keep me calm during that critical and crazy half-hour before we get the food on the table (well, on the counter—with 30 people, we HAVE to serve buffet style.)
Most of all, I love the tickle of anticipation, today, tomorrow, on Wednesday and especially those quiet few minutes— just before everyone arrives; when the house is dusted and vacuumed, the pictures and mirrors shine, the tables are set, the do-ahead things are resting on the counter and the three of us look at each other—excited for the festivities to begin, knowing that not only will we be celebrating with a huge family—on Thanksgiving we'll be surrounded by our friends.
Wishing you a joyful, happy Thanksgiving.