Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Over the River and Through the Woods

"Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go.  The horse  knows the way to carry the sleigh through the white and drifted sno--ow..."

I always loved this song though we were often packed in a car when we sang it and didn't have rivers or woods to travel over or through. It was always nice to think about traveling through white drifts of snow. BUT this year we are to have a nor-easter and I became a grandmother of sorts, to potential step grandchildren, and I am really too tired to think about baking pies and having company.  Everyone will soon be on their way however to my house, and between now and then there will be a turkey all roasted, and mashed potatoes and stuffing and vegetables and pies and even a birthday cake, though my daughter seems to be the one that has offered to martyr herself at the hot stove altar!!!....

It is that time of year again! Unlike Martha Stewart, with every gourmet ingredient all bought and prepared, I am just now thinking of Thanksgiving, though we do have a turkey thawing.  Just thinking of all that needs to happen, I must return for a long winter's nap before such an undertaking, and perhaps I will take my phone directory with me and see if it is too late to book myself for a reservation at a nearby Bed-and-Breakfast!

We are becoming a modern-day family, blending families together. I am sure it will all be very nice, but I forever wonder how to blend the oil and water opposites that our family seems to be blessed with.We have one that frets and fumes and has pre-worried about everything, and another that will arrive late, to be the house guest and enjoy whatever is set before her. My house has suddenly been child-proofed by my daughter and I have graciously or ungraciously taken a step back, and decided to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head to see if I can wish the holiday away! I have suddenly become the perfect Scrooge, sour and grumpy!  I remember now that I had a cousin that preferred peanut butter sandwiches to the typical turkey feast, and I have grown to be like her in my old age and I think that if I was doing all the cooking that is just what I would serve!

One year my husband was to be in China over Thanksgiving and my eldest was away from home and my youngest got an exciting offer to have Thanksgiving near Niagra Falls and who should say "no" to that invitation? I felt sorry for myself for about a day and was well on my way to overcoming my feelings of total isolation. I didn't have to struggle long! Finding a good book and pulling out my most toasty PJ's to dress for the occasion, I quickly overcame my misfortune and began to count my blessings, only to find myself being pushed into another family's festivities. Lest I become suicidal, though those thoughts never occurred to me, my family's concern for my well being made me consider at least taking "dessert" at one of my children's friend's houses. I reluctantly went at everyone's insistence!!

It was a large Italian family, complete with black sheep and all...One even brought his wife and his girlfriend. Clearly this was not a cohesive family nor did they see eye to eye or get along the rest of the year!! They played games of all sorts, and without reservation, their competitive spirit was fierce enough that I thought there might be a stabbing or throat slitting before the games began.  I was assigned to a team, for no quiet buy-out was considered an option...blood was needed for each team and the competition began. There was yelling and screaming and pats on my back for the lucky answer I was able to suddenly pull from the recesses of a mind too long not used.  I felt like I was part of their family before I was done, though I still didn't know most of them by name.

The dessert was delicious, though I can't remember what it was now, but I still remember the hurling of insults and jabs and rowdy laughing!! No delicate politeness here, though their family was no more unified than mine where water and oil forever don't really blend and rankled irritation makes for wrinkles that can fester for the entire year!

I have since learned that no family is "normal" or a blend of perfect sweetness! And here we are again, in time for another round of holidays. I think I will get out the spoons this year and insist that we all consider a round or two of my favorite game.  No brain needed at my table--just the sheer gall of being grabby and reaching for a spoon, even if eye gouging might be needed to get one! This dear granny hopes to get all that out of her system in a good old-fashioned cut-throat game or two!

Now back to bed to rest up before a last minute run to the store where I will warm up to the festivities ahead as I fight over who gets the last jar of pickled beets or the last can of whipped cream topping and Sarah Lee's heat-and-eat pumpkin pie!!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all, and don't forget our craft show on Friday and Saturday at the Poultney High School Gymnasium in Poultney, Vermont!  It is guaranteed to be a big one!  Our sleighs are packed and ready to it may take them to get us there this year!!....and quite literally you will find this sweet Vermont town over the river and through the woods!! Don't miss it!!