Thanks­giv­ing, a shook house and the quest for peace

Bray People - - OPINION - david looby david.looby@peo­ple­news.ie

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.

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