Holiday was great, but exhausting

Holiday was great, but exhausting

Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday — it’s all about family, food, love and laughter. It’s a wonderful day, though it can be rather exhausting. Getting the house cleaned, guest beds freshly made up and the necessary ingredients gathered for the menu can be tiring to say the least, but it is worth every minute spent getting ready for the big day.

This year we had lots of family members gathering together. We were fairly prepared for company when they arrived, if not completely ready. Cooking, dusting and table settings are my chores. Taller Half pushes the vacuum, sweeps or shovels the entrance way and herds the dogs into a back room before the guests arrive. A small house filled with lots of people is not a good place for excitable dogs to run loose — they see guests as competitors for attention and food.

This year a daughter was the hostess for our meal. She did most of the preparations for our gathering, which was gratefully appreciated by her parents. We were only required to supply a couple of menu items to the feast. I could handle that without too much trouble, though my oven did not want to cooperate.

As soon as the first item was put in that oven, it began to smoke, which made our smoke detector scream bloody murder. I had so carefully cleaned that oven the day before, but evidently, I missed some mess and that unhappy stove let us know. Our dogs added to the resulting hysteria by howling at the smoke detector. By the time the exhaust fan did its job, everyone’s nerves were shot.

As it turned out, our dinner was a huge success. Everyone probably ate too much but enjoyed every bite. The clean-up afterward took some effort, especially dividing up the leftovers. Everyone went home with full stomachs and enough leftovers for a couple of meals.

We hope next year’s Thanksgiving goes as well as this year’s with lots of family, delicious food, and hopefully a less smoky oven and much quieter dogs. We have high hopes that one of our children will insist on hosting the festivities — that way we may enjoy the day and get home in time to take a nap. Family gatherings are exhausting.