Thursday, November 22, 2007

Turkey Day Gobble Gone

Well, it's over. This part of the family survived anyway. It's not over for the rest of them. Those suckers have to move a piano up some stairs tomorrow.

Ben pretty much slept through the night. Anna did pretty good as well. Both of them woke up at five, much earlier than anybody else in the house. I managed to keep Ben in the bedroom until 5:15, but that was a struggle. Once we were out of the room, others slowly started waking up by necessity. At least there was coffee. There's always coffee on in the homes of Finnish people.

Ben had a blast playing with his cousins. Anna wasn't put down for a second. There was always someone to hold her.


Things did get tense, though. A member of our family is on an anti-vaccination crusade, and since I don't buy into that line of thinking, it was difficult for me to keep my mouth shut. So I walked away and washed dishes. She feels as strongly about not vaccinating children as my mother does about her faith.

Once the Packer game started, Chris, who really hates sports on TV, escaped to the kitchen to help prepare dinner. My mom kept privately gushing to me about how wonderful he is.

We celebrated my nephew Gage's first birthday. He turned one on Monday. It was a very nice moment, all of us people who love him so much, gathered around his high chair to sing to him and watch him eat his first cupcake.


Dinner went off without a hitch. The game was still on, so the die-hard fans ate on TV trays in the living room, while a few of the other adults sat around the table with the children to supervise the feasting. It was the first Thanksgiving in memory that we didn't try to all sit around tables to eat. I know it's terrible, but it was kind of nicer this way. Less of a fight. More leisurely of a dinner since half of the group wasn't chowing down quickly to finish and go back in the living room.

Tensions grew high again when we all sat down to figure out how to move a piano. Since we've been dragging that thing around the state for twenty years now, we know it requires four strong movers. We only have two, since we're not going to let my dad help. They were ready to just give up and say they'll just shove the thing in the barn up north and call it good. I suggested we ask the next door neighbors if we could borrow their twin sons who are probably home for the holidays. They were and were quite happy to help for the loading.

I told my mom to get on the phone to some of her old friends up north. Their friends may be old, but those friends have kids. She lined up two more people to help with the unloading up north. Disaster averted. The piano will be in the relative safety of a scantly heated farmhouse for the winter.

I'm kind of sad about it. We got that piano when I was seven. I started taking lessons. I took lessons until my junior year of high school. I loved playing piano. I wasn't half bad. But the piano has always belonged to my aunt, and it was time to let my mom get rid of it. Oh well. I'm sure a piano will enter my life at some point down the road again.

Did I mention we drove home in a snowstorm? Very heavy flurries. Had to drive slowly. Scary to drive in, but it was lovely to look at.

Oh yeah. And I took home most of the leftovers from the dinner. :) Shhh. Don't tell.

Friday morning: Three other things happened that I want to remember, so I'm adding them now.

1. Walking into the kitchen with Anna after I finished feeding her in the bedroom. My mom was at the stove with Gage toddling around her ankles. After she told me where all the other kids were (basement playing playstation), I asked her if I could help. She said no, and calmly explained that there's a fire in the oven that she needs to take care of first. She grabbed a jar of baking soda and after two tries, had the nerve to open up the oven door and start shaking the powder over the dancing flames. Apparently the apple pie that baked the night before had leaked more than she thought. When she was preheating the oven for the traditional Finnish pancake, the spillage started on fire. I started teasing her about how badly things could have gone, and she just said I didn't need to tell my siblings about it. "This is between me and God." Still makes me smile. We still were able to use the oven to cook dinner.

2. My brothers' family has two dogs, Snickers and Mitzy. Ben thought they were nifty. When he was jogging around the house blowing off steam, with every thud on the floor, he was yelling, "Goggies, Goggies, Goggies, Goggies."

3. At one point during the Packer game, my brother-in-law shouted, "Go, go, go, go!" at the running back scurrying down the field with the ball tucked under his arm. This was the first football game that Ben experienced. After that moment, whenever Ben looked at the TV he started yelling, "Go, Go, Go, Go!" at the top of his lungs, whether there was someone running or just giving commentary on the most recent play. I found it unbelievably precious.