Late last week I fell in the yard. In the hours following the fall I thought I was fine. It hurt but not as much as I thought it would. But, over the next few days, things felt worse and worse. This wouldn’t have really been a problem but I’d invited our youngest son, his girlfriend, their daughter (and we ended up with her cousin as well), and my dear friend, Peg to dinner on Monday. I’d already started to thaw a turkey. It was a commitment. It was time to panic. But of course, I shouldn’t have.
I’ve mentioned in past posts that my youngest son and his girlfriend live very close by. They’ve been an incredible help to us through our medical crises and they’ve also been very helpful with our everyday lives. They’re always willing to help out in any way they can. And my friend, Peg is more like a sister than a friend. She’s the kind of person you let visit even when your house isn’t clean and you need a shower. You don’t have a problem with her helping clear the table.
So… The turkey was defrosting and I was determined to pull off this dinner. Except every day I was in more pain. By the time Monday rolled around I had gotten to the point where I’d put off going to the bathroom because it meant I’d have to move. Even my eyelashes hurt. But, being me, I decided I could just take my “good” pain pills and everything would go smoothly. And it did.
But it went smoothly because, after I’d made a compound butter and slid it under the skin of the bird, then put the turkey in the oven, I was barely hobbling. Stick a fork in me. I’m done. I had no idea how I was going to do everything else that needed to be done. Honestly, I don’t know why I was concerned at all. I know my family.
Pete took over the turkey. Andi had brought everything to make green bean casserole, which she’d never made before. All I had to do was direct and splash the perfect amount of milk in the casserole. Peg had brought me a mandolin and we did get to play with that; slicing paper thin cucumber rounds for the salad. Then we retreated to look over an Amish cookbook Peg also brought for me. Pete and Andi were on fire in the kitchen. The three of us ladies did peel potatoes but that was mainly because we all wanted to try out the peeler that came with the mandolin. Even Pete got in on the mandolin action, slicing the potatoes so fast it was a blur.
Then I needed to sit somewhere and lick my wounds. And while I was being a crybaby, Peg, Pete, and Andi finished the cooking, setting the table, and getting the food set out. I did manage to limp my way to the table.
A short time after dinner the kids started asking about the pumpkin cake that Peg had made. Did I mention this dinner somehow turned into an August Thanksgiving? I was going to put them off but Pete said they could have the cake because it was getting late and they needed to put the kids to bed. So, once again, I sat and Peg and Andi got cake for everyone. It was fantastic!
My kids dragged their kids home to bed and Peg and I visited a bit longer. Then she was on her way home and I was back in bed. I took another of my serious pain pills and thought about how wonderful it is to have family like that. The Thanksgiving-like dinner made me think about how much I have to be thankful for every day.
And I thought about our oldest son, Paul, so very far away, and started to worry about him. But I realized, almost instantly, I don’t have to worry. He’s every bit as capable as his baby brother and he, too, has a great family support system. His girlfriend’s parents live one street behind them and a few houses down. They are always willing to help the kids with projects around the house, with babysitting, or anything else. Paul also has two young women who are like sisters to him down there. They are my grandbabies’ aunts. They are Jen’s sisters-in-law. They may not be blood, but they are definitely family.
Thinking of the permutations of families, I drifted off to sleep. My tummy was full of a wonderful dinner I contributed very little to create and that was okay. I knew my family, wherever they live, will always have people around them who love them and take care of them. It’s the best feeling in the world and definitely a reason to be thankful.