Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Morning...

...a feast for the senses.

Wafting through my door comes the smell of a turkey roasting. An Adams family tradition, the turkey is my contribution to the Thanksgiving feast. Simply prepared with a rub of butter and seasoning salt on the outside, and apples, celery, and onion in the cavity, it roasts slowly overnight. It's the last thing in the oven before we go to bed - and the first sensory experience of Thanksgiving Day.

A small plaintive cry from the guest bedroom upstairs signals that Lucy has awakened from her sleep, tummy telling her it's time for the first Thanksgiving meal of the household. At two months, she's having a lot of firsts: the first long trip to Nina and GrandBob's; a new sensory world to take in; this four-legged furry thing that goes crazy when people come in the door; and an adoring family that just wants to snuggle with her. But she likes to see the world from a vertical position when she's awake, so we're learning to carry her cradled upright in our arms.

A clickity-clickity on the hardwood floor from the hall outside my bedroom door signals that Luke is ready for his Thanksgiving breakfast - the same meal he was had twice a day for 9+ years: lamb and rice Iams. He slurps the water, scarfs the food, and then impolitely burps (yes, dogs burp). Having expended all the energy he can muster in the pre-dawn hours, he ambles over to his bed, circles three times, and plops down for the first of his many naps of the day. Life is rough when you sleep 20 hours a day, so you have to start early.

Sliding out of a warm bed, my feet hit the cold floor-first my bedroom floor, then the kitchen tiles. Since in the wonderful last-minute switcharoo of rooms to accommodate Lucy's sleeping preferences, I have forgotten where my slippers are. A quick walk to the back door, then outside on the back porch and to the yard for Luke to take care of business so he can get back inside for his breakfast and nap. It's a cool, crisp Thanksgiving morning; the quiet hour just before the moon set and sunrise. The birds aren't up yet, the squirrels are still sleeping, and even I-77 in the distance is quiet as the world sleeps on.

Just a day or so past full moon, Luke and I look out across the brightly-lit back yard. The trees are almost bare, discarding their leaves for the long winter sleep. The moon shining through them casts shadows in sharp relief against the grass below. Wisps of clouds across the sky foretell the likelihood of rain - maybe some today, surely some tomorrow.

I close this sensory trip through Thanksgiving morning with the taste of a steaming hot, early-morning cup of Earl Grey tea swirling around in my mouth. I'm not a big hot tea drinker, but there's just something about a house full of family, laughter, cooking, and the promise of more to come that makes it seem just the perfect way to start the day.

For the first time, all 10 of us are going to be together: Nina, GrandBob, Jon, Hallie, Jack, Jason, Jaime, Lucy, Amy, and Aaron. It's just for part of the day, but it's those hours that make a lifetime of memories.

We thank God for the blessing of family.

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