Thanksgiving, a shook house and the quest for peace
EIGHT feet of snow and a broken foot to boot couldn’t keep the visitors from arriving at our door for a pre Christmas family get together to remember.
While frost on the cars was getting the country into a lather, my brother and mother were contending with the mother of all snow storms in upstate New York, where eight foot of snow fell on nearby Buffalo in one day.
As my brother broke his ankle while at work a fortnight before he was due to depart, the last thing they needed was the Amtrak train to get snowed in, but it was so and he ended up having to drive five hours in the snow to New York, aided by my mother. Thankfully they made the flight.
As if having two guests to cater for wasn’t enough, we got word that aunts and uncles were about to descend. Now the arrival of relatives is always welcome, but as the logistics of entertaining in our small house are always a challenge to say the least, the list of preparations was starting to take its toll.
Nevertheless the week’s entertaining passed without a hitch. Having learned from our first mad Christmas dinner cooking experience last year where we were up until 2 a.m. getting everything ready, The Good Woman and I applied a good measure of common sense to this year’s Thanksgiving dinner (a precursor to the main Christmas event) and used frozen roast potatoes, bought in red cabbage and we went for the quicker-to-cook relative of the turkey, (the duck), for dinner, along with the obligatory Brussel sprouts.
A ready made lemon meringue pie sealed the deal for the visitors on an epic Thanksgiving dinner, which was ‘all’ cooked by The Good Woman.
The ongoing dilemma that is our kitchen caused some amusement this week as our latest redesign caused half the estate to vibrate.
The tumble dryer was expertly placed in a newly fitted casing above the washing machine and everything was looking rosy in the Looby kitchen until we realised that it was causing one hell of a racket when turned on.
Now a tumble dryer isn’t much good unless you can turn it on, apart from maybe throwing the children’s toys into when a guest suddenly arrives, so we were faced with a multi faceted dilemma.
A). Get the shelving taken down having already had shelving which was there removed for the new stated shelving.
B). Stare at the dimensions of the room and get a kango hammer at the sittingroom wall to try to find space for it. C). Do nothing and wait for inspiration. Having opted for the latter we compiled a list of everything that needed to be completed in the house from painting jobs to light bulbs in need of replacing to outdoor jobs and wiring work.
Having moved into the perfectly lovely house less than two years ago we had already amassed a massive list of jobs to be done which will keep the tradesmen of New Ross busy for weeks.
Now as far as I’m concerned the only lists worth considering this time of year are for the man in the North Pole and they’re solved with a stamp.
Dreading to think what all that would entail, we resolved to put the jobs list off until the New Year’s resolutions period, which we never subscribe to, so we may as well get used to our cosy ramshackle home and save up for a while before we plan Phase II of what will no doubt be a job of many phases.
In the middle of the maelstrom arrived the Late Late Toy Show, something I haven’t watched in years. The consensus was that it wasn’t as much fun as last year and admittedly I missed it again. The Whirlwind Princess wasn’t too bother with it either and there was no big Santa list at the end of it to our relief.
Having dropped my mother and brother off at Dublin Airport on Saturday morning, I stopped off at Avoca in Wicklow which was filling up with Christmas shoppers. The image of Marie Antoinette was on the confectionary boxes which seemed fitting enough, with a ‘Let them eat cake’ jokey vibe to it.
Hard to believe that the person who dreamt that one up ever went hungry!
Arriving home it was great to get some rest, for about two minutes, before the next social occasion, this time a trip to see Keith Barry perform in Winterval ably assisted by Woody Harrelson. The Good Woman and The Little Fella’s illness didn’t help the transition back to abnormality either.
The morning after the night before was fun and the fatigue from a week’s entertaining set in. The recovery is only now beginning. Cheers!
Snowstorms have been causing travel chaos in America.