Today is Thanksgiving, and I deserve a gold medal — or better yet a nice piece of gold jewelry. I cooked and transported an entire Thanksgiving dinner, from soup to dessert, to my in-laws’ place for the second year in a row. Last year, my FIL got sick, and they cancelled on us a few days earlier. This year, my husband is ill, and I felt he was not strong enough to make the 2-hour trip over (+2 hours back the same day) to see his parents. We were going to have Thanksgiving dinner at home.
Tuesday night before Thanksgiving, WineGuy calls me over and practically begs for us to go see his parents for the holiday. His father is increasingly frail, and WG had not seen his dad in several months. WG intimated that he fears his father isn’t going to live much longer; I think WG is fearing his own mortality at this point, too. So, I agreed to go visit the outlaws but to cater dinner as well.
On Wednesday, between driving WG to and from radiation, chemotherapy, and physical therapy, and stopping at two grocery stores and the doughnut shop for extra provisions, I cooked like a madwoman: one whole turkey, one extra pan of turkey thighs and legs, turkey stock, turkey gravy, mashed potatoes, spinach-artichoke casserole, and MIL’s favorite, peanut soup. Moose prepped and stirred. Wild Thing mixed and measured. Wizard mashed, smashed, stirred, got a lesson in making stock, and washed every last dish and pan.
This morning, I packed up everything and drove the family 2 hours to the outlaws. They were delighted to see us, but they were grateful. MIL and FIL specifically thanked me for everything. WG’s niece and nephew joined us as well and were overwhelmed by the family’s dedication to each other. SIL-A, the Prodigal Mother, even called from Spain to wish us a Happy Thanksgiving. I heated and served everything in my MIL’s tiny kitchen, socialized with everyone, then packed it all up and drove 2 hours back home. I did the right thing out of respect for my husband and his parents. I only hope my children learned the lesson that their cousins clearly understood today.
As for lack of respect … well, that would have been the quarter-mile long line of traffic I encountered at 6:00 p.m. tonight as I got off the highway to come home. I didn’t see any flashing lights or any other evidence of an accident. It was an obscene line of traffic waiting to turn in to Super WalMart for early-bird deals. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It was in the middle of anyone’s normal dinnertime, maybe a little late for early turkey feasters, and WalMart’s parking lot was full to the farthest corners, AND there was this huge line of traffic waiting to enter. I was disgusted.
What the hell is wrong with retailers that they have to sully a national holiday for a little more business. What about the employees that have to work on Thanksgiving? WalMart surely doesn’t pay a living wage the rest of the year, let alone overtime on Thanksgiving. I had no idea WalMart was open today, but what really offended me was the ream of circulars advertising their merchants opening at 8:00 p.m. tonight and staying open all weekend. Believe me, I love finding Macy’s bargains as much as the next girl, but I’ll get up a little early on Black Friday. Bah, humbug!
P.S. My kitchen sink broke today before I even left the house. For the second time in 10 years, my fancy Grohe sprayer faucet broke, sending a few pints of water down into the cabinet below. The company doesn’t make the faucet anymore, so I’m not hopeful I’ll find parts like I did 10 years ago. I may have to shop for a new faucet. O. Joy.