we moved the birds out and most of the bits of clutter and clustered the plants (2 large bananas, and other way too big plants for our tiny house) into the corners, pulled out the table and used the longish plant table to extend it lengthwise. there’s no lighting in the room, so i scrounged every candle i owned and placed them around so we could see our food.
i had everything set and ready so that all i needed to do was cook and put the food out for our thanksgiving feast.
then people started showing up. my sister criticized everything. my dad kept sticking his face into mine and grabbing stuff out of my hands while i was trying to cook all the last minute crunch time dishes…you know all the stuff that gets done all at once. my son, michael finally had to ban dad from the kitchen. brni tried to squeeze in 2 more place settings when his brother and girlfriend unexpectedly arrived, upping the body count to twelve. lori began helping him and started rearranging chairs and generally confused the issue. jesse went in and used his magic to bring order back to the room.
i came within a breath of losing control of the dinner. brni’s mother and my sister had dumped a bunch of debris on the kitchen counters (fried bread (why?), purses, paper bags with nothing in them). michael (along with everyone else, i fear) realized what was happening. he held me by the shoulders, somehow centering me so that i could go on. he even managed to clear off enough space to carve the free range, freshly sacrificed bird.
finally, we sat down and the food was very good despite everyone’s efforts at sabotage.
after pie, freshly whipped cream and coffee, they all cleared out rather quickly. hate to eat and run, thanks for feeding me. among brni’s mom’s too many parting words were, “i don’t mind if we do this at my house next time. it is much bigger and if everyone else brings the food…”
my cousin and jesse’s girlfriend dropped by on their way back from their respective family feasts. we all had a wonderful time chatting and drinking slivovitz. then, in a feeling of love and warmth, i gave michael a big bear-hug and destroyed his back. his pain was intense and his left arm was rendered useless. love hurts.
i had to literally carry him, walking backwards over to the chair. after many horrible minutes (or was it hours?), jesse helped him up and outside to try and keep him mobile. they did a lot of talking and it came out that jesse’s father had thrown michael against a wall when he was eight, which michael believes was the start of his back problems. this was news to jesse (i hadn’t related details of all the violence his father subjected us to). jesse’s anger and hatred of his father rekindled in the flame of his brother’s pain. bless me father, for you have sinned.
when michael got to the point where he could walk on his own (more or less), i had brni set up the massage table. i put michael on it and gave him reiki. the only way i can describe his face, mind, body and breathing is clenched. after i started the reiki, he slowly began to breath normally. his face softened and he began to snore. by the time i was done, his breathing was completely normal and his snoring quieted. i managed to get him up to bed and tucked him in. his dogs snuggled in around him and i went back downstairs to find jess and brni doing the last of the cleanup.
it was now 3am. completely spent, i went to bed.
yesterday, we decided that the 2 1/2 hr drive home would be too much for michael. so i loaded his dogs into the back of my forester, placed michael in the front seat and drove them to baltimore. brni and loki followed in michael’s car. luckily, traffic on 95 was lighter than the usual friday afternoon/evening stop n’crawl because the gods, in their infinite wisdom, created black friday and everyone was worshiping at the malls.
today, i plan to keep my feet up and read something totally inane and entertaining. i may break out the epsom salts and settle into a tub full of lavender oil.
i also plan on canceling all future thanksgiving celebrations.