Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong (shadesong) wrote,
Magical Truthsaying Bastard Shadesong
shadesong

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Giving Thanks

Every time I have a gathering of ten or more people, it's a learning experience. Things go wrong - not in a disastrous way, most of the time! Just in a sideways or pear-shaped way. And we all recover from it with aplomb, and we brainstorm ways for that to not happen next time. And it doesn't happen next time, because we are good at that. But something else does. And we fix that. And it is the circle of life, and it moves us all.

Yesterday?

Was perfect.

The one ARGH! moment came at the very beginning and had to do with some household prep that hadn't happened. Once that was out of the way (with much help from slipjig, elionwyr, and gwynraven)... everything went fine. We kept exchanging bewildered glances and knocking wood, just waitng for something to blow up. Nope. Perfect. Dinner hit the table later than anticipated, but that's because the bird was much larger than anticipated. Once we compensated for the cooking time of the biger bird, we got everything else done pretty much flawlessly. We used the crockpot for garlic mashed potatoes and marshmallow sweet potatoes, to free up the oven for turkey + cinnamon/brown sugar roasted sweet potatoes, asparagus, crescent rolls, and more; spicy carrots and green beans with bacon went on the stovetop, et cetera. I had a little quartered chart with where everything needed to go and when. We tried new recipes, and they all worked. Friends brought salad and wine, desserts and squash and risotto, and it was all delicious.

I think part of the quantum leap this year was me letting go. I was diagnosed with epilepsy five years ago, a month before Thanksgiving; I was so fucked up on my new meds that I could barely think straight, but I was DETERMINED to not lose Thanksgiving. It was so hard, you guys. But it happened. And year after year, I have made Thanksgiving happen.

And year after year, as the epilepsy meds gradually let up but the fibromyalgia set in, I struggled with how to do my Thanksgiving. I wanted to do it all, to prove to myself that I could. But my body couldn't. But no one else could handle it, and it was MY holiday. But I'd collapse. But it was a sign of weakness if I relinquished my iron grip! So I gradually let people bring side dishes. And I let Gwyn do the crescent rolls. And I let Slipjig into the kitchen.

This year?

This year was the first year that it was really, truly collaborative.

This was the first year that, when people said "How can I help?", I stopped to think about it and found something they could do instead of saying "Oh, no, I got it." Rolling crescent rolls, tying the turkey's legs together, washing dishes, chopping carrots.

This was the first year that, when people said "Should you be sitting down?" or "That will hurt your hands, let me take over", I acquiesced. Not entirely. I didn't *always* sit down. But I handed over the knife or the scrubby pad, because they're right, chopping and scrubbing do mess with my tendonitis.

So I let people help. Because people - at least the people I hang out with - like to help. And everyone did - this Thanksgiving is thanks to all of them.

And in endgame, where it was a mad ballet of getting the turkey out and reheating and making the last-minute dishes and this is where the panic usually happens - we were fine. Skated the edge just because there was so much going on. But everything was fine. Everything worked.

And we all lined up and had delicious savory food and talked and laughed, and chanted "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." and when Inigo ran Count Rogen through and we said with him, "I want my father back, you son of a bitch," we applauded. The food and wine were most excellent, and the company was even better. I am so lucky to have these friends.
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