Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The pumpkins are gone

The ride is definitely picking up speed now. It is almost Thanksgiving and I still think the carved pumpkins are outside the front door. But they have long since rejoined the Great Pumpkin after surviving Halloween and several squirrel and slug attacks. Tess put them out of their misery in the trash can (though one of the neighborhood kids snagged one and put it on his front steps for a few days).

Halloween candy is still in some stores at 75 percent off as they try to clear space for Christmas merchandise. Santa is supposed to be making an appearance despite tightening his belt because of the recession everyone says must be here because of all of the indicators. I think the main indicator is that the press won't shut up about it. I saw a news story last night about people holding garage sales in a neighborhood in Florida to help pay their mortgages. One woman was trying to sell her nutcracker collection because her interest rate was 18 percent. I see a bit of irony there.

Our house will be more Christmasy than ever. Our children are too young to want the latest X-Box or iPhone. They'll be happy with the wrapping paper and ribbons regardless of what's in the box. So the press can take their doom and gloom about recession stealing the holiday and shove it up their South Pole.

I still can't believe Thanksgiving is only a couple of weeks away. We'll take our annual Pilgrimage (no pun intended) to Boise to be with my side of the family. My 83-year old mother hasn't met our three-month old son yet. And both of my older brothers will there this year, so it will be the first time my family has been all together in years. Both my brothers are a little right of right politically so Tess has made me promise not to wear an Obama t-shirt to dinner.

I'm not looking forward to flying with a two-year old and a baby. Thank goodness it is a short flight to Boise. We'll be safely ensconced in our rented mini-van before we know it, checking into the Cambria Suites, the same hotel as last year that we are pretty sure Roan was conceived in. If he was a girl we toyed with the idea of naming him Cambria. The boy lucked out. Fortunately for him we didn't stay at the Shilo Inn or he might have been saddled with a different moniker.

I have mixed feelings about the way I feel about Thanksgiving. It is difficult feeling sentimental about a holiday centered around eating when you grew up with a mother who hated to cook. She made it pretty clear that getting up at 5 a.m. to stuff a turkey wasn't an act of love but obligation and I secretly believed she wouldn't have been disappointed if someone choked on a turkey bone.

I had it in my head as a child that the turkey leg was the best part of the bird and always asked for it. It wasn't until I was older that I discovered that the leg was the toughest, least appetising part of the turkey and I had been missing out on breast meat all those years.

My brother cooks the Thanksgiving meal these days. He seems to enjoy it so I won't begrudge him that pleasure by suggesting we all go out for Chinese. Though I do think everyone would be more comfortable. I work in Seattle's Chinatown, however, so I suppose it wouldn't really be a treat for me to choke down General Tso's Chicken and an egg roll after listening to my born again oldest brother say grace.

On the bright side, with the speed my life is flying by, it should be spring in no time.