*This is a post full of photo images. Just thought I’d give you fair warning in case you’re not into visual imagery.
Our family drinks a lot of tea in the fall. Would you like a cup? Come on in and we’ll talk as we sip our tea.
How was your Thanksgiving? This was the first time in 58 years that I didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving with my two sisters and their families. Usually we all get together at my oldest sister’s house but this year we decided we would just do our own thing. I debated on whether to order Thanksgiving dinner from Cracker Barrel or Publix and make it easier on myself but then decided I would cook the entire meal (when I celebrate with my sisters, we all share in the cooking). My oldest son came home and my in-laws also joined us. I think I can count on one hand how many times I’ve cooked a full turkey in my life. While I dearly love to cook, turkey and dressing is not my forte. I can take or leave dressing, but I’ve never made dressing that I’ve liked. My mother made the best dressing.
I love to rise early on Thanksgiving morning. That morning I was in the kitchen, the rest of the family asleep, and I was standing at the sink preparing the dressing and listening to the Macy’s Day parade on the TV in the next room. The smell of sauteed onions filled the kitchen and I immediately thought of the days when I was a little girl and how I would awake to the aroma of sauteed onions and the sounds of my mother rattling her pots and pans every Thanksgiving morning. My dad would usually peek his head into my bedroom door and tell me the Macy’s Day parade was on.
I missed my parents on Thanksgiving morning.
I wanted so badly to call my mother and ask her questions about roasting turkeys and how to make my dressing taste like hers did. And then while cleaning out the turkey cavity, I came across the giblet bag. I thought of my mother’s giblet gravy. I opened the giblet bag and there I found the gizzard (I could never eat those just knowing its function and remembering the nasty grotesque things I saw inside bird gizzards in necropsy rotation in veterinary school), the liver (which looked very healthy) and a very teeny tiny heart. I stood at the sink in disbelief that a 17 lb. turkey could have such a small heart, no bigger than the end of my thumb. I wondered if this heart even belonged to this turkey or did they put some poor baby turkey’s heart in this particular bag? I stood at the sink and found myself all misty-eyed over missing my parents while holding a tiny reddish-brown turkey heart in the palm of my hand. I was thinking that this little tiny heart once thumped wild and gave a turkey life and now it’s slaughtered and sitting in a roasting pan on my kitchen counter. And I thought of my parents whose hearts no longer beat. The tears fell and I thought, well, the holiday season is officially here because I’m crying over turkey hearts no longer beating and my parents who no longer sit at the Thanksgiving table. Ever feel like you’re losing your mind?
Fall officially doesn’t end until December 21st, but for some reason after Thanksgiving, it always feels like the fall season is over. I’ve heard a lot of people say just what my husband and I have already discussed, that weather-wise, we haven’t had much of a fall this year. It seems it went from the 90s to the 40s temperature-wise. I know at this house, fall is a time to have all the windows in the house open but they’ve been closed much of this fall season. It seems we went straight from using the air conditioner to using the heater and then back to the air conditioner. It goes from fairly warm to cold and back to fairly warm. My husband and I commented that we haven’t sat out by the fire pit one single time this fall.
But I’ve sure enjoyed the autumn leaves and colors this year. Though several days of gusty winds recently have taken most of the leaves off the trees, here are some photos that I took while on a neighborhood walk around Halloween. Autumn bliss.
In other news, I recently had to call my sister and break the news to her that her beloved teen idol, David Cassidy, was hospitalized with liver and kidney failure. Ever hear a grown 59-year-old woman break down and cry? I did, a few nights later, when she called to tell me that she had just learned that David Cassidy had died. She said she loved him so and that his music had brought her so much joy in her younger days. As a teenager, she had her walls plastered with posters and centerfolds from Tiger Beat magazine. She had all of his albums and went to see him numerous times in concert. If I’m correct, she even went to see him twice in her 40s or 50s. There’s something about losing your teen idol that makes you feel really, really old and like you too are turning the bend on that last leg of this journey called life. I told her to keep playing his music, that she will always have his music and her memories and they will always bring her joy.
My kitties have decided that they both like to sleep in my son’s old laundry basket after I accidentally left the lid off of it one day. It was quite hilarious the day they BOTH tried to sleep in there together (it’s a small basket and they are 12-14 lb. kitties). It didn’t work too well. But ya just gotta love these two guys. They bring me so much joy and laughter.
My niece came over yesterday. She’s in her first semester of vet school and she came bearing her “bone box,” her Dell tablet full of classroom lecture powerpoint slides and notes. She wanted me to help her review the anatomy of the skull– the bones, the muscles, nerves, etc. We went over all that and the salivary glands and the lymph nodes, the parts of the larynx, the papillae of the tongue. Let me tell you it’s been 35 years since I’ve had canine anatomy and so it was more of a review for me! Words like concha and pterygopalatine fossa and Corniculate process of arytenoid cartilage long ago left this brain. It sure brought back some memories. Memories of how much there is to memorize in anatomy. Memories of how tedious it can be. I told my niece to just keep breathing and take one day at a time and I promised her it would get better after she gets through anatomy and physiology, the hardest courses (in my opinion) for a first year veterinary student. I have to admit, I sorta had the heebie jeebies after she left after remembering how I thought my brain might just explode if I had to try to retain one more thing in anatomy.
Have you read any interesting books lately? Goodreads tells me I’ve only read 30 out of 50 books for my 2017 reading challenge and that I’m 14 books behind schedule. Considering it’s the Christmas season and a hectic time of the year with a million things to do, I’m pretty sure I’m NOT going to meet this challenge. Oh well that’s okay. I’m reading The Snow Child right now. In all honesty, I’m more of a reader of non-fiction but I do try to occasionally read fiction. The Snow Child is one of the best fiction books I’ve read in a long, long time. The plot has really drawn me in and I look forward to climbing into bed at night to read it. My sister read it a while back and said it was a really good book and that I would like it. She couldn’t believe I had not read it yet.
Well, thanks for stopping by and having tea with me. Enjoy the rest of this glorious fall season and may peace and love be with you throughout the Christmas season.