Thursday, October 15, 2009
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 lamp...so 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.