The house was spit shined from top to bottom. Husband (aka "My Guy") and I were ready for our guests and the tunes were rocking. #1 Son and New Girlfriend walked in with a bag of pine cones. I had texted him and said I could sure use 20 pine cones. New Girlfriend told him he'd make a happy mother if they stopped for the cones.
The dogs were crazy with love for #1 Son - it'd been a long time since their last reunion. All my dishes were prepared...they only had to be cooked off. The kitchen was spotless thanks to My Guy.
Out of the corner of my eye I spied a gentleman jauntily walking up our driveway with a gor-jus bouquet of apricot tulips and a bottle of wine. He was one of our strays. Made a good start!
Brother and fam trooped in - loaded with their bounty: BBQ weenies (they are famous for this snack), beer and other necessities. Niece had a new boyfriend. He was mature and it'd rubbed off. She was lovely through and through, grown up at 20, respectful and fun to talk to. Niece #2 was sweet and quiet. I loved hugging on both girls.
Brother-in-law enters with a grin bigger than day - he's just a happy man. He makes friends with all - everyone was comfortable now. Conversation got louder than the tunes. That was a good thing.
Another stray added dash. He was quite handsome and had on very handsome cowboy boots that caught our eyes. His contribution was a strange Italian delicacy - artichoke stems boiled for hours on end that looked rather like beef jerky. We tried it, not everyone liked it.
The wine was flowing. Boy, was it flowing...red was the color of choice. A good start.
The preprandial snacks were enjoyed. My Guy told me he really liked a new one I added to the menu. It was a "man-dip" made with bacon, almonds and onions. I had not made my way over to said snack table. He asked if he could get one for me and then hand delivered a cracker to my lips. So sweet. Almonds, bacon, artichoke stems, smoky Merlot.
#2 Son joined us. He was wearing his good attitude (along with some horrific earrings). He hugged me. This was a good start.
The kitchen was packed and the oven filled with all dishes necessary to complete Thanksgiving. With only two ovens, it was a challenge to cook off mashed potatoes, broccoli casserole, stuffing, corn pudding, roasted vegetables and dinner rolls. I was thankful for the ancient hot tray buried in my cabinet. It reminded brother and I of our Mom. She always had one.
The brother-in-law was The Carver. As he wrestled with a fried and smoked turkey, smothered with grease, licking his lips, he was in his own world. We were ready.
We circled up, held hands, said grace and grabbed a plate. I loved the sounds, smells, the smiles flashing around the house. We were only at 14 - not that many people - but with a small dining room it seemed more. Did I mention the wine was flowing? We liked red it seems.
#1 Son's girlfriend added warmth and compassion. She was a good listener and added a lot to every conversation she entered into. Sort of like #1 Son. Hhhhmmmm.
The Dallas Cowboy game was recorded so we lost My Guy to the leather chair. Slowly the football fans followed him. This left a gang in the kitchen - and the overwhelming mess got cleaned up. The guests withered away and it was quiet. My exhaustion hit so I had to do "legs up the wall" pose.
Thanksgiving started well and finished well. I was thankful beyond measure. God is so good. He knows I love gatherings filled with lots of people having fun. That's "it" for me!
I woke up the morning after buried in my covers. While My Guy was in the kitchen mopping the floor, I thanked God for giving us a good day, a day filled with full tummies and full hearts.