Thursday, November 25, 2010

Our Thanksgiving Day

Today was a good Thanksgiving.

Since my daughters weren't home, I decided to invite a bunch of people who don't have family in the area or any place to go. Well. This is a Mennonite pocket in the Willamette Valley and everyone has more connections than they know what to do with.

Meanwhile my sis in Yemen had so many unconnected expatriate waifs and strays in her life that she finally had to stop inviting and hope some other kind soul invited the others.

One family I invited had outdoor projects to work on, one family simply declined, one girl ended up at OHSU with a horrible bone infection after surgery.

But, happily, a few people could come--James whose wife is in the Mennonite home, Paul's mom, the Alexander family whose girls are friends with Jenny and gave her the cat, and Wesley who lives by himself.

And then yesterday Paul's mom hinted that Uncle James and Aunt Orpha wanted a houseful as well but came up with only one person. So I invited them to all come over here, and they did, and Orpha brought her wonderful spicy Puerto Rican turkey. Their guest was Stanley, who also lives alone, and who eats turkey and mashed potatoes in a manner that makes a cook happy.

Thanks to the children's help and lots of organizing and about 8 leaves in the table, we ended up with a Norman Rockwellish scene of lots of people around a long table with heaping bowls of traditional food.

The new cranberry salad recipe was delicious, and no one seemed to notice that I had, in a senior moment last evening, doubled the sugar in the crescent roll dough.

Then we cleaned up and sat around and talked and played games. Wesley told about the big snow of '69, Bob and Fifi talked about the cruise his dad treated them to last week, Enoch and Ben and Steven played Jenga and tried to keep the tower of blocks from falling, the girls played with the cat and dressed up in capes and carried swords and walked down to the warehouse, Stanley shared his extensive knowledge of Virginia geography, Uncle James and Paul talked about selling fescue a few days before the price went up, Matt talked about his senior project, Orpha and I discovered we had been at Calvary Bible School the same year but six weeks apart, and James H. talked about his wife's medical issues.

Then we nibbled on party mix and gradually people went home. I filled plates of leftovers for the single men who acted gratifyingly grateful.

The best Thanksgivings are when all my chicks are home in the nest, but maybe I need them to leave now and then so I fill my nest with other birds who need a place to go.
After: Steven relaxes with the cat.

Quote of the Day:
Ben: If I got a ten I would start gleefully jumping up and down like a little kid.
Steven: You wouldn't.
Ben: Actually I wouldn't. But I would consider it.
--during Settlers of Catan


  1. I think the Aunt Orpha you referred to must be the lady who was my first grade teacher! I didn't think about it until you mentioned her Puerto Rican turkey! If it is her, she worked with the same mission in PR as my brother and his family!

  2. I'm sure it's the same! Former teacher, worked in PR...

  3. Orpha was also my first grade PR! I didn't realize you were related. RG in VA

  4. And I lived in Orpha's house while I was in PR as a WATER volunteer in 1997. :) She's known far & wide! I wish I could have tasted that turkey!

  5. Paul's Uncle James's wife died in I think 1992, and some years later he married Orpha from Puerto Rico, so now she is "Aunt Orpha" and lives just down the road.

  6. I don't know Aunt Orpha, but I do know Stanley. We invite him over when he visits Virginia, and enjoy listening to him tell about his travels. He and my husband were neighbors and friends since childhood. Ruth

  7. The turkey sound delicious and the fun sounds, well, fun.