Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner Surprise

Considering all the preparation involved in preparing a Thanksgiving dinner, how do you have a surprise?  The story is long.  I usually have the family Thanksgiving at our house, but things are in disarray this year, so we were to have it at my daughter’s home in Amarillo on the 19th.  The early date was because of a family member who needed to be elsewhere on the Day.  Beginning the weekend before, however, the three little girls in the family began getting ill with a respiratory virus involving several contagious days with temp, general misery, and in one case, 7 nights of what we old timers describe as croup.  So did the doctor.  One mom spent all those nights holding the little one in a recliner beside a vaporizer before acquiring the illness herself.  Our plans were cancelled, then half-revived before being cancelled again.  On Wednesday, the mom was feeling much better, but no one was in the mood to thaw a turkey and make dressing so we gave up.  I did, however, drive to Amarillo on Thanksgiving morning to visit my son and to take care of some postponed family business.  Then conversations about lunch ensued.  Then we called my daughter’s house and examined what local restaurants were open.  At 10:55 or so, to beat the crowd, we hit the parking lot of a local tourist/Route 66 hotspot—The Big Texan—the place that presents pseudo Old West, tourist style, nailhead studded purse, big haired, mounted longhorn and buffalo head Texas at its finest.  Locals have a more mixed reaction—we enjoy the fun with a somewhat tongue-in-cheek reaction to the tourists.  As my 5 year old son remarked the first time he visited and looked over the Stetson, chaps, and boots-clad waiter, “Mom, these cowboys don’t smell right.”  It was true—they didn’t smell anything like the real cowboys at lunch in the Tasty Cream back home—no eau de manure and horse sweat.

On Thanksgiving, the usual atmosphere was missing, or was probably actually there, but invisible behind the crowd.  The enormous parking lot was entirely full; we elbowed our way through the crowd to the registration desk, where my SIL was given one of those round flashy things and a promise of a 10 minute wait.  The wonderfully kitschy curio shop was SRO.  I finally became claustrophobic, squeezed out on the porch to a bench, and texted my family.  We stayed out there for 1 hr. and 15 minutes before getting a table.  SIL said that by the time the hostess flashed his device, there was also a lengthy waiting list for flashers.  I am afraid the children got to see almost nothing of the charm of the place.  It was waaaay too crowded.  The food, however, was excellent.  Lots of raw veggie choices, fruit choices, a green bean casserole, sweet and mashed potatoes, dressing, giblet gravy, and a very moist and delicious turkey, and, of course, in Texas, juicy roast beef.  The amazingly efficient waiter—no chaps, but hat, boots, and western shirt—kept our beverages topped off and brought pumpkin or pecan pie.  In spite of the fact that a couple of members of the family missed out, and I’m really sorry about that, we managed to have a lot of fun!

And, instead of doing tons of dishes and disposing of that messy turkey carcass, we spent the afternoon and evening doing this:

Yep, my DD and SIL painted their hall, and then “we” hung paintable bead board texture on the bottom.  I did the pasting.  This is a very short video because it was supposed to be a still picture.  I’m still getting acquainted with my IPhone.  Today, they completed the painting and the chair rail trim. 

I took knitting and managed 3 rows of a plain stockinette sock. 


Carrie said...

You managed to immortalize my awesome painting clothes. :-) Now I can never run for president!!

Deb said...

Your Thanksgiving experience will become one for the family storybook, and will be fondly remembered. At least you didn't set your oven on fire like I did last year!