There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.
William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Monday, November 23, 2015

The holiday that isn't, really. Yeah, I'm a bitch sometimes.

Thanksgiving; it's almost here.  Because I worked in a hospital for decades I learned what holidays were important to me and which ones weren't.  I worked every single Thanksgiving the entire time I was a bedside RN. I also worked Easter, the 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Mother's Day and any other holiday deemed important to anyone that wanted a day off.  I'd switch shifts, work doubles, double backs.....any hours, any day so I could have either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day off.  I never had both days off and never had Christmas Day off two years in a was one or the other.  But, those were the days I wanted, so everything else was left for someone else to celebrate. 

I can't remember any really special Thanksgivings growing up. We had some traditions or maybe they were just routines.  My mom would roast the turkey in her Nesco roaster outside in the patio on top of the washing machine because she didn't want the house to smell like turkey for weeks.  She always made green beans and the nastiest cranberry relish ever.  She would clamp a grinder onto the counter, stuff in cranberries, apples and oranges, peel still on, turn and turn the handle and this mush crap that was so bitter it made my jaw hurt would slug out.  My dad loved it.  Thankfully, it wasn't something they made me eat.  She also made mince meat pies.  I have never tasted mince meat.  Just the name was enough for me to decline and the stuff  looked nasty to me. 

Most Thanksgivings spent with Steve and all of the kids featured chicken.  I am not a cook, don't like to cook, don't like to clean up so, meals were simple and put together when I got home from work.  One time I splurged and baked Cornish hens.  The kids weren't impressed. 

I do remember one Thanksgiving when I was married to Bob.  The whole family was gathered at Bob's mothers home.  She had a long, narrow dinning room, a large family, and seating was tight.  I wanted a picture of the family sitting down with the turkey and side dishes on the table and since no one was totally wasted yet, there were still smiles on faces.  I stood at the foot of the table and had backed up as far as I could go.  Bob's brother, Richard, was closest to me and I couldn't quite get him in the frame.  I told him to scooch in a bit, and then scooch a bit more.  He told me he couldn't get any closer to the table and I said to lean in.  He promptly laid down in his filled salad plate facing me and smiled.  I took the photo.  I still have that picture.  Richard was a really special man.  I'll have to blog about him....maybe next week.

After Steve and I had our home health care business I left hospital nursing.  I had all of the holidays off after that...I was sort of the "boss" and was a great scheduler!  We had Thanksgiving dinner at our home a lot after that.  Steve has two brothers and a sister.  His sister was notorious for being late...not just a little bit late, but a lot late.  One year dinner was long over, clean up was in progress when sister Cindy and her husband Tony arrived.  I had made plates for them to be nice.  I could have just told them too bad, you're way late, pick at the bones.  Cindy had the balls to tell me the turkey was dry. I told her to put more gravy on it and shut up.  Yeah, I was a bitch.

Another year, Cindy volunteered to make the pies for Thanksgiving dessert.   She told us to buy all of the ingredients and she would make two of her mother's special pineapple cheesecake pies.  Thanksgiving eve she arrived....late....made the pies, made a HUGE mess in my kitchen and then told us since she had worked so hard she was taking the pies home...and she did.  I put them in a grocery bag, one on top of the other so she could have pineapple cheesecake mush. Yeah, I was a bitch.   But, she topped herself one year when we had Thanksgiving at one of the brother's home.  He was recently divorced from his 4th wife (the first wife was Sonya, 2, 3, and 4 were all named Susan ) and needed his family around him....or, so he said.  We brought the turkey, divorced brother Larry bought potato salad, brother Joe and his wife brought rolls.  Cindy was supposed to bring a veggie.  She was late....really late, but she did bring a veggie....a can of corn.  I swear.

We have had one Thanksgiving with family in Idaho since 1998 when we moved here.  It was the year our doggie Goldberry died and my daughter Chris drove up here with my grandson Tyler.  They arrived with our Violet.  She was so tiny she fit in Tyler's palm.  She was already spoiled and would only drink bottled water like her Auntie Chris.  That was 13 years ago.

So, Thursday we will make stuffing and bake a 22# turkey.  We will haul it across the street to Dan and Lisa's house because they will be alone for the holiday just like we are every year.  They are providing all of the side dishes.  I guess we could have had them over here, but I am really not feeling up to cleaning up all of the after crap.  Yeah, I'm a bitch sometimes.  But, I am thankful for so much this year.  My heart is strong and I am above ground, I can still exercise every day, Louie the lazy ass lump is gone and finally healed, my family is healthy and happy.  Hopefully Steve will have surgery before the year ends and will be back to being active and pain free.  I hope every one of my blogger friends has a wonderful Thanksgiving and that more blessings than you can all handle come your way.  Now.....if I knew how to load pictures you would see one of my ugly turkeys right in this spot.....but I can't figure it out so....close your eyes and pretend. 



we always went to my grandparents in Mesquite, Texas for all major holidays if we were stateside..the thing I remember is the amount of food..25 pound turkeys, 15 pounds of ham, every side you could think of and more pies than I could aunt Leola was the pie maker(she did it for a living) if we were over seas we always had dinner at the mess hall...when we lived in Hawaii I always had lobster...happy thanksgiving.

rosemary said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you Jackiesue.....sounds like you have some good memories.

booda baby said...

Wow. I want Jackiesue's Thanksgivings!

It makes so much sense that Thanksgiving's not your favorite. Even the warmest, happiest gathering can be forever tainted by one person bringing their insults and meanness. (Hm. Maybe that's just my experience.) Cindy? What a dick. Do you still share any holidays with her?

I'm so glad you've got plans that don't stress you out. Plans that will just give you the chance to savor all the good things that are here, right now. Happy, calm Thanksgiving to you!!

Anonymous said...

lol, "Cindy? What a dick" - BB

Now then, as for this turkey day - I am not feeling it. I have a friend here who has kindly invited the three of us to their home for the big feast but as she works Thanksgiving evening (one of those 'Black Friday' schedules, they will eat around 2pm. Fine with me. I'm baking apple pies and pumpkin crisp and making deviled eggs. The rest of it is all her - woot. No muss, no fuss - not this year. Gobble gobble! xoxo

jp said...

You keep calling yourself a bitch, but you're not even half the bitch I would've been to Cindy. For starters, I probably would've locked the doors once dinner started.

I also have one of "those" schedules, where holidays are a crapshoot. My parents don't even stay in town for Christmas anymore, they're so used to none of their kids being able to attend. I do have Thanksgiving off this year and hopefully will be seeing everyone.

I'm also thankful your boob is finally healing up. You waited a long time for that. Hope you have a great holiday, and yes there is much to be thankful for.

rosemary said...

Bodda.....nope. Sister Cindy set fire to the biggest bridge in the world with Steve and I benefited from the falling ashes. To be honest, she is seriously mental and needs help badly, but refuses. None of the family speaks to her and won't until she gets help.

Ms. Hat...sounds perfect to me. My idea of the perfect holiday is to be transported over all of the traffic to someone else's home, have dinner ready when I get there and have a nearly naked handsome man serve, I didn't say service me.

jp.....I wish I felt differently about the holidays, but after losing them for decades they just don't have much meaning. Add to that we are alone almost every year and ....pfft...just another day to vacuum. Two days with no dressing on Louie. If I drank I'd be shit faced from 48 hours of constant celebrating.

My name WAS Female, I shit you not! said...

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.

more cowbell said...

First, Jackie Sue, Thanksgiving at the chow hall was the BOMB! No cooking, no cleaning, good food. My ex and I and the kids did that many a year. One of the world's great secrets. Best dinner ever.

Rosemary, Cindy sounds like a treat. No, Hat called it: a dick. WTF? A can of corn? Taking the pies home? I think we all know who the bitch in this story is, and honey, it ain't you.

My dad was a cop, so we got used to holidays being scheduled around work. Hey, he was earning double- or triple-time those days. I remember him coming back to the house in the police cruiser to play Santa on Christmas morning. Santa in a police uniform.

Here in Costa Rica, I don't really do the holiday meals. It's sad, but ... I think it would be sadder trying to do it without the kids. Plus, I'm not crazy about cooking either, and I can't get a lot of ingredients here anyway, so ... kind of a relief. In a way.

So is the turkey one of THE turkeys? A little less shit in the yard this week?