Thanksgiving in an alternate universe is pretty rad…

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Mornin’ all.

I see I’ve got a few early risers today! Getting those birds in the oven, are we? Well, help yourself to the coffee. It’s not good. In fact, it’s fairly terrible. But it’s free and it gets the job done. You need a kick in the ass, and this will most definitely flip your turbo switch. Chew a stick of chalk after you swallow. I find it helps with the burn.

“I think I’ll pass, Bethie.”

Really? Don’t you have a Thanksgiving meal to prepare? Hm? One that’s going to be eaten by your in-laws, your self-righteous cousin, and the older sibling you’ll never quite live up to?

“… … … GIMME ALL THE COFFEES!!!”

That’s the spirit! Just make the stuffing soft. You really aren’t going to want to bite down after that java strips all your tooth enamel. Trust me.

So it’s Thanksgiving! I’ve waxed eloquent on the T-days of my childhood in previous blogs. If you don’t know that my grandfather was an accomplice in piscecide, you really should go into my backlogs and check it out. Don’t worry, the statute of limitations had long run out before I told the tale. I’m no stoolie.

If you go back and look, or if you’ve got a decent memory, you know that my childhood Thanksgivings were damn near the lyrics to the song “Over the River and Through the Woods”…er, only with a mini van instead of the sleigh. You know the song. Your second grade music teacher used to make you sing it over and over and over in the month leading up to Thanksgiving.

Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go,

The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh through the white and drifting snow—Oh!

….Over the river and through the woods trot fast my dapple gray,

Spring over the ground like a hunting hound for this is Thanksgiving Day!

That’s the abbreviated club remix. Sorry about the extra bass. Skrillex needed somewhere to spin this holiday and I felt bad for the little guy, ya know? Go get some pie, Skrillex. And please try not to spin it this time, k?

Sorry, folks. He’s a little more of a handful than I imagined.

*smooshy smooshy bwaaaahhhh splatsplatsplat gwaaaaahhh boop splosh*

SKRILLEX! NO! Eat the pie. EAT it!

*hangs head* *shuffles away*

Yikes.

ANYWAY, that song is old fashioned, yet when you hear it (extra bass and all) you get an image, a feeling. It’s special. It’s excitement. It’s a crystal wine glass that you absolutely mustn’t touch, young lady! It’s a holiday, a real, true holiday. THAT was a Thanksgiving when I was a child.

Now?

Look, families have peaks and dips, ebbs and flows with generations. One generation is little enough to want to hide under the snacks table with their cousins and try to snitch extra treats, while the older generation wants to commiserate about having said snacknappers, and the grandpas and great-aunts happily munch cheese in the corner easy chairs.

But then something happens. Time moves on. Soon the little imps are no longer under the table. They are big enough and old enough to start wanting to branch out, to go other places, to start being adults themselves. Some of the adults move, either physically or temporally, and one day, you find that there’s too much uneaten cheese, and empty chairs at a once full table.

I’m not trying to be a downer. Life just happens. Right now the little kids are no longer little, the adults have shuffled off or simply away, and we’ll have to mark time until the elder teens become adults themselves and start providing a new batch of snack-stealing cuties.

A LONG TIME FROM NOW, TEENAGERS. AFTER YOU’RE DONE SCHOOL AND HAVE JOBS AND HOUSES AND MET YOUR PERSONAL GOALS FIRST!! I DON’T REGRET YOU FOR ONE SECOND, BUT I WANT BETTER FOR ALL OF YOU!!!

*achem* Sorry. Just had to make that clear in case any of them are reading this. Babies shouldn’t start happening for awhile yet.

So we’re not doing a bird today.

“*collective gasp from the internet*”

Oh shit. Now Skrillex is looking even more lost and sad. We’re having food, Skrillex. Just not turkey, okay? We’re doing our turkey on Sunday.

“But Bethie, that’s not Thanksgiving!”

…why not? The date is arbitrary anyway. And before you pick up your muskets and torches, it IS arbitrary. The Pilgrims did not dine in celebration with the Native Americans on November 26. Scholars believe the event that truly inspired the holiday happened perhaps as early in the year as July, and certainly not in 1620, as all the place cards we had to make in first grade led us to believe.

They also didn’t have much in the way of turkeys, certainly didn’t wear belt buckle hats, and definitely didn’t wear all black.

But just because we fudged the details doesn’t mean the spirit of the holiday isn’t legit. We should be thankful. We live in a country that might be far from perfect, but it’s certainly also far from the pits. We’ve got food available, clean water, mostly fresh air. There’s still a strong sense of community, even when those bonds are tested, and a genuine desire to find our way back to the top. We’ve got mountains and valleys, prairies and canyons, TWO oceans and so many rivers it’s impossible to see them all. Even if you feel that you’ve got nothing, if you live in this country, you’ve already got a whole lot.

When you look at it like that, does it matter if we sacrifice a turkey on Sunday instead of Thursday? No. No it does not.

Because we’re a blended family, I always let the Others schedule the teens and then do our bird later when the chickadees return to the roost. It makes it much easier than stomping my foot and having a temper tantrum that puts the kiddies in the middle. And it SUCKS to have to have one dinner here, then waste a perfectly good turkey coma by having to rush back to the other family’s house to try and cram in MORE turkey and stuffing. It makes the holiday stressful for a kid to be treated like an overfed yo-yo. Let them go eat other birds today, and then let them have their turkey comas in peace. It’s their right as Americans to eat one enormous meal and pass out on the couch to the sound of their grandfather arguing about the football game with their loud uncle.

Today, it’s just the youngest pup, the guy, and myself at home. Oh, yeah, and Skrillex. We’re going to have Thanksgiving pizza.

*Skrillex perks up*

Get that look off your face right now, young man! YOU CAN’T SPIN THAT EITHER! Geez. Every round thing and he’s just GOT to give it a whirl… *exasperated sigh* Where was I?

Pizza. While not traditionally a Thanksgiving meal, I’ve got to think that if it had been available to them back in the 1600’s, the Native Americans would have just called out for pizza when the Pilgrims were hungry and starving. Would you really want to cook for all those people while you were trying to ready your village for winter? Hm?

The Native American husband would have come home, slung a handful of rabbits on the table. His wife would have said, “Better get cleaned up. We’ve got that dinner with the Smyths.” The husband would have groaned and tried to wheedle out of it. “You said you wanted to be good neighbors,” she’d remind him in that universal tone all wives through history have used. “Fine!” he’d say. “I’ll get cleaned up.” She’d nod, never doubting that he’d get in line, and then remind him that they had to bring the food, too. He’d groan and roll his eyes, then say, “I’ve been out hunting all day, and you’ve been gathering corn and weaving. How about we swing by Little Caesars?” She’d pull a face. “We can’t bring that cheap shit to dinner!” He’d slowly grin. “Why not? They’re Pilgrims, dear. Have you SEEN what they call food? They’re not going to know the difference.” She’d hem and haw, but in the end, they’d have shown up at the first Thanksgiving with ten Hot n’ Ready pizzas.

And the Pilgrims would have rejoiced and given many thanks, for even a Hot n’ Ready piece of shit pizza would have been better than boiled acorn mash.

The day of the week doesn’t matter. The meal doesn’t matter. Today, I’m celebrating the Thanksgiving that could have been, and might possibly be in another universe. On Sunday when I have my teens back home, we’ll celebrate the Thanksgiving that never actually was, at least not on our world. And every single day I’ll be thankful for being where I am, for who I’m with, and for what I have.

*Skrillex drops a poignant beat*

Exactly, man. Exactly.

Thus concludes a quick T-day or P-day, if you’re of the mind, Musing for Thursday, November 26, 2015. Everyone, have a fantastic day today, no matter what you eat or who you eat it with! I’m off to start the pizza dough. Come on, Skrillex. You can finally put those mad spinning skills to work. I’ll mix the dough, and you knead it for me. “Like remixing?” …sure, buddy. Just like that. *rolly eyes*

Oh what a beautful morning! And it won’t even be ruined by shitty coffee, either…

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Mornin’ all!

Take a whiff. You smell that? Fresh blueberry muffins. They’re cooling before they get a salted vanilla glaze. I’ve got ribs drying on the rack before I rub them down to marinate all morning. And the coffee’s brewing. I actually measured it carefully today instead of just dumping half a can of grounds in and hoping the pot won’t disintegrate.

“Whoa now, Bethie. You…you…MEASURED the coffee? Like real people do?”

Yep! Sure did!

“What’s the occasion?”

Why, I’m glad you asked. Today just so happens to be… Family Holiday!

…hey. Stop flipping through your calendar in a panic and come back here. You didn’t have a brain fart and forget to buy someone a gift. You won’t find Family Holiday in any calendar, because it’s completely made up by us.

We’re a blended family. His, mine, ours. You know, 80’s sitcom fodder. When we were a newly formed herd, and the teens weren’t even close to being teens, there was some tension amongst the ranks. Shocking, huh? Turns out “Insta-family” takes a bit more work than simply adding water (still waiting for the class action suit against those 80’s sitcoms and their lies, btw).

One day after a particularly trying he said/he said/nuh-uh/yes-suh battle between the trio, my guy saw some toys on clearance at work. He bought them, then came home and we put our heads together and decided to make a whole day of it. A special day, that only members of our family could celebrate.

And thus, Family Holiday was born.

Corny? Yep. Desperate? More than a little…at first. We really stressed the fact that the kids would now be raised as brothers, as family. Though I’d like to say that was enough to cement the bonds of brotherhood, I am not a good enough author to make that lie sound even remotely believable.

However, it did give them a fun day, and it was a fun day that no one else on the planet got to have. Their very own holiday. All they had to do to be qualified to celebrate was to be part of the family. And the next year, we made it better. We added some activities and prizes…more the year after…yada yada…here we are. I fully intend to keep it going, too, even when they finish growing up and moving out. I’ve done a lotta screwing up as a parent, but this is one thing I think was a pretty good idea.

This year we’ve got to plan around work schedules, so it’ll be an afternoon event. I got a bunch of lame outdoor activities that they haven’t played in years. The young pup is thrilled. He’s still at the right age for the bubbles and badminton and water balloons. The older kids have shunned those baby activities for a couple years. But, with the teens getting older, they are re-entering the age of wanting to do those things again. They’re eager to hold on to what is probably the last real “kid” summer for the two oldest ones.

I also got a bunch of those long balloons. I’m thinking…balloon animal contest. And I got these sponge ball slingshots. You wet the sponge and let ‘er rip! *SPLAT*

“Uh…I think you may just have regrets at the end of the day, Bethie.”

It’s not really a holiday unless you end the day with a migraine! Right?

Right!

Besides, I’m expecting the beef-handed teens to rage quit balloon animal-ing, which I would find hilarious. Shouldn’t be too much squeaky-popping before they’re sick of it.

I also got some regular balloons. The young pup won’t remember, but another thing I used to do for the yet-to-gel Three Musketeers was randomly buy a pack of balloons at the dollar store and blow them all up when the boys were napping or at school. We called it Balloon Party, and I’d do it every couple months. One dollar and a good set of ear plugs, and the afternoon that *could* have been bickering and trying was turned into a joyous cacophony of laughter and frizzy hair.

I have been getting nostalgic as well. They aren’t the only ones who realize they’re getting too big too fast and will soon have lives away from me! I’m thinking that when the teens are at work or upstairs getting angry because the game is once again cheating on their fifth play through of Skyrim, I’ll break out the air compressor and make a surprise Balloon Party.

…hm. Just had a thought. We did not have a cat when we used to do Balloon Party.

This should be interesting.

We’re breaking out the ice cream maker. It’s my son’s, the 14 year-old. He won it as his prize for winning the math bee in 8th grade. He had his pick of any reasonably priced item, and he chose and ice cream maker. Now, I didn’t complain, not one bit! But, you gotta admit, it’s a bit odd of a choice for a 12 year old, right?

Ice cream. Ribs on the grill. I thought of corn on the cob, but holy mackerel is it pricey! They wanted corn on the cob and burgers. But there was a really good deal on ribs, and I just couldn’t swing burgers and corn. The way things are going, I don’t know if we’ll get burger cookout at all this summer.

I’m going to do it.

“NO BETHIE!”

I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I must.

When I was a kid…

” *groan* ”

…actually, scratch that. We don’t even have to go that far back. When my teens were kids, I could get hamburger for about a buck a pound and paid a couple bucks for a dozen ears of corn. You know what the stores are advertising those items at this week? Burger at $4.29/lb, and corn on the cob for $6/dozen. And that’s on special! Why aren’t burgers and corn on the cob still cheap eats? It makes no sense, folks. I thought this was America!?

“…uh…”

Oh. Oh, yeah. Heh. Sorry. Didn’t really mean to get on a soap box today. I just stood in the grocery store yesterday and it floored me that it would be cheaper to do a spare rib BBQ than classic burgers. Tirade over.

So it’s a holiday here in the afternoon. Some finishing work on the car this morning before the relaxing fun. Did I mention that we got those firework poppers? You know, the ones you pull the string and a blob of confetti shoots out the end? We saw them at the grocery store and they were dirt cheap. Snappers, too.

Remember snappers? They’re tiny little sperm-shaped paper packets that have a few rocks and a couple grains of gun powder in them that make an oddly satisfying snap when you throw them on the ground. Or at someone’s ass.

Here. Let me refresh your memory. I scanned in the actual box because you NEED to see this:

snapbox1

snapbox2

Is that not the most amazing box you’ve ever seen? I love everything that’s wrong with it. “It’s rappin’, it’s snappin’, it’s what’s hapnin’…” GUG. Cannot stop saying that!

And then the monster…I get it. The brand is “Monster Snaps”. But why the mohawk and drinking straw hairdo? Wouldn’t one or the other have sufficed? And can we just talk about those fingernails please? And those jorts. THOSE JORTS. And what the hell is up with his nicely tied sneakers? I’m sorry, but if I’m going for a kickass monster, I’m not looking for one with Lee press on nails and pristine sneakers. Or a beer gut that hangs over jorts.

I love it.

I love this box.

And I’m not just saying it. I legitimately ONLY bought these particular kinds of snappers so I could have the box to put on my fridge after the fun of snapping is over.

So that’s the story for today. A bit of work, then a lot of fun. I honestly cannot think of a better way to spend a Sunday.

Thus concludes a Morning Musing for Family Holiday 2015. I hope you all have a good day, even if you can’t be eating ribs and twisting epic balloon animals like us. Well, you *could*. Maybe your family needs a holiday, too.