Thursday, October 15, 2009

catchings up

We have celebrated Thanksgiving in fine style here at MH & U, winding up on Monday night with another -- probably the last -- of the Rambler's holiday dinners. Each has begun with an announcement in church a few weeks beforehand: "Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter is coming, and ... I HAVE A TURKEY" (OK, it doesn't resonate like "I have a dream," but I work with what I have, okay?)

Started this several years back when I DID have a big old turkey in the bottom of the freezer, going wobble wobble to and fro the way they do...and I thought perhaps I might draw, oh, a half-dozen waifs'n'strays to help eat it if I fetched it to the church on the holiday Monday and cooked it. The first thing that happened was that a senior member caught me at the door and whispered, "buy another one, you're going to have 45 people, trust me"...and every time we have had in fact about 40 guests. So it is two turkeys and a ham; the turkeys in the ovens downstairs (big old Garland gas range with 10 burners atop, JOY UNCONFINED); the ham in the oven of the house-sized electric range in the upstairs kitchen. And the Rambler trots to and fro, basting, until parishioners and friends and, indeed, waifs'n'strays, totter in, late afternoon, and bring potatoes and turnips and yams and salad and cornbread and PIE, Lord have mercy!

In the midst of the preparation on Monday evening, I took time to "just set" with the chief of the parish's Old Guys That Fix Stuff. The piano tuner had been in the week before, exclaiming again over the "niceness" of the Big Black Yamaha grand in the nave...the gift of Chief Fiser and his wife. So I thought perhaps I should pass along this good word, as Chief Fixer was looking rather worn. He has asbestosis, and it doesn't improve, and of late he's been on his portable oxygen continuously.

So I reported the piano tuner's compliment.
"Well, I think it's where it IS that makes it so nice."
And I couldn't resist...because this man is one of those who isn't just wild
enthusiastic about the sanctuary I said, "Do you mean, the lovely rosy glow cast over it by the sanctuary lamp?" to which HE says, "OH Don't you start up with me, about the sanctuary lamp!!!"

and then, after a pause -- "Mind you... it looks just fine. We were at the cathedral the other night for the ordination, eh, and I looked at theirs. And I though 'HUH -- ours is lots nicer!'"

And then we laughed. Some moments are just heaven.

And the turkeys were good and Knitting Lady's retired surgeon husband carved them to a fare-thee-well, and the ham was a thing of beauty too.


Jim said...

An excellent day all round.

I had a solitary weekend, the Supreme Allied Commander being off visiting my relations and the Best Friends being off with grandkids. So it was just me and the cocker spaniel, which was nice in it's own way, and I did some serious cooking for the first time in nearly a year.

Then late on Tuesday afternoon, The Best Friend wandered by and told us that we were invited to dinner in a couple of hours.

We went. There was turkey and stufing and cranberry sauce and mashed turnip and lots of other good stuff and Mrs. Friend turned to me as we sat down and said, "This is your Thanksgiving dinner," which made me feel all funny but in a very good way.

Crimson Rambler said...

had you been here...we'd have shared also!

Jan said...

Sounds very nice.

Auntie Knickers said...

Sounds great, I can hardly wait for our Thanksgiving, and it's interesting that it sounds as though you have the same foods as we in New England.

Kathryn said...

It all sounds lovely...I wish we had an equivalent festival here.
But tell me, would you (did you) offer a similar come one/come all invitation if you had offspring at home? Every Christmas I dither about this, knowing that there will be waifs abroad in my community but also anxious that my family, who bear alot thanks to my vocation, shouldn't have to give up every vestige of normal family life. Would love to hear your take on that...x

Terri said...

Considering that it is 97 degrees here today....a heatwave...I can hardly imagine roasting Turkeys and ham....but, oh, I'd love too! Sounds delightful.

mibi52/ The Rev. Dr. Mary Brennan Thorpe said...

I love this saga, and I am intensely jealous of your Garland range. And some of those conversations with the senior folk in the parish, who have shaped and been shaped by it, are precious moments.

Re surgeons doing the carving: PH grew up on the mission field in Deepest Darkest Africa (yes, Kurtz's place) and his dad was a missionary surgeon, head of hospital at the mission station. One day they got a cow to butcher (from the Belgian Catholic fathers, who ran a cattle ranch some kilometers north of them) and had it out on the back porch on a large table. PH's dad and several of the nurses were butchering the beast. The rest were all hacking away at the great thing, but Docteur Roger was delicately and gracefully dissecting - it couldn't be described as butchering by any stretch of the imagination - when one of the nurses said, "Give it up, Doc. You're not going to save that one."

Sounds like your surgeon was a bit more expeditious in the carving!