Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Same and Brand New

I didn't take any pictures of our Thanksgiving dinner because I was happily and busily making it this year.  We spent the night with my parents and my sister's family laughing and enjoying the sound of children squealing in delight.  It was a marathon cooking adventure that brought out mostly winning recipes and one that flopped horribly like a big chubby man in a red suit diving off the bantalan.  The winners: Rosemary Citrus Roasted Turkey, sage and feta mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, Italian sausage and sourdough stuffing, pumpkin shortbread squares, cranberry orange relish, tequila sangria with fresh fruit and candied yams all from scratch.  Loser: butternut squash soup.  It was such a culinary mess that my dad actually said, "Don't ever make your pumpkin soup again for as long as you live, but everything else was delicious."  You can always count on my dad not to sugarcoat things.

Favorite quote of the evening:  
Me: Sommer, please change the channel.  That cartoon is inappropriate.
Sommer to Savannah:  Hey Nannah, wanna watch Food Network?

Favorite dish of the evening: My first ever shortbread squares.  Mmmm...

Favorite comment of the evening: I love you mom.  You're my hero.  (Hope)

Favorite memory of the evening: Sitting around the Scrabble table drinking sangria and knowing beyond a doubt how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family. 

We had just enough to supply a perfect breakfast the next day, then it was off to work, home and Christmas tree ornament hunting.  The girls and I decided on some sparkly red apples, crystal green grapes and shimmering plum pomegranates.  Decorating the tree is a big deal in our home.  There's the village, the Nativity, the stockings to hang, the garlands to string and the tree to decorate.  There's a routine we all depend on like having to add something new to the village and making sure no one mistakes the shepherd boy for a wise man, but this year was markedly different in a couple of significant ways.  Tonton wasn't here with us and we all felt his absence despite anyone mentioning it. The music didn't seem to make us giggle as much or sing as loudly and each of us kind of took turns sitting down for a bit looking disoriented.  "What's wrong Peyton?"  "Uh, I don't know.  I just wanna watch."  We hung up one less stocking on the wall.  We'll send one less letter to Santa.  Sigh...

It was also new and promising.  Hope and Peyton arranged the Christmas village all by themselves and it looked awesome.  It actually looked like a completely different village, which reminds me of the proverb about entering the same village from a different bridge.  It's all about perspective, I suppose.  I am happy to relinquish my village architect duties to our beautiful girls.  Ahhh...and so we're ready.  Christmas is on it's way.  Amidst the frenzy of mad dashes to on island and online stores for just the right gift, I sit calmed and comforted, content in knowing that all I need is never more than an arm's length away.  We'll spend some of it in the snow and some of it in the sand.  Every year will be the same and brand new, familiar and transformed,  just like each of us!

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