Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holiday Break Is Over

Everyone is gone, and Gerald and I find the silence almost deafening. Gerry’s family had to leave Friday morning since their family was involved with a softball camp this weekend. Katherine and David were just out for the day on Thursday—bringing me a start of the beloved lilac bush that Katherine dug one hot afternoon from our old farm home. She was still able to plant and nurture it then eight years ago. David had dug it for me for my birthday. I could not have asked for a better present. The other two families left this afternoon. I hope all are safely home and tucked in bed after their long drives home.

We weren’t sure what time Erin’s flight was from Atlanta to College Station, but I hope it was early enough that she too is soon in bed. Everyone dreaded starting back to the grind in the morning.

It has been a good six days of family visiting at Woodsong. Most days people were coming and going, and I was never sure who was in the house. Eighteen were here Thursday, and after that, seldom less than ten of us were eating. Sweets from Gma Shirley’s Thanksgiving dinner showed up on our dessert counter along with Mary Ellen’s apple pie and chocolate pecan pies. So it did not seem to take much effort to fix a new dish or two for lunch and mix with the leftovers.

Friday we took the kids to the Carbondale mall while two daughters and I looked at kitchen sets. (Five of my six chairs are beyond repair, and the sixth will likely die soon.) Since we were there, we went to Pagliai’s for pizza while Jeannie reminisced about college days there. After a Saturday night movie, it was pizza at Walt’s, which brought memories to Mary Ellen. The kids thought pizza two nights in a row was a great nutrition choice. We oldsters enjoyed it too.

Gerald convinced me that I should go ahead and use the leaking sink by keeping the crock pot beneath to collect the water. That worked, and all I had to do was remember to empty it. We kept the dish washer and the sink busy with dish washing.

I slow baked steak and potatoes in the oven while we were at church this morning. We were all pleased that Leslie and Elijah sang for us in the service. Mary Ellen and Brian had not been able to hear Leslie sing in a long time; and except for his family, none of us had heard Elijah for a year or so. When we arrived back at the farm, I fixed the okra that I had thawed out to prepare for Thursday’s feast. A family favorite, okra is always on our Thanksgiving menu and I had it written down on the planned menu, which I failed to consult on Thursday. Two days later I remembered it in the downstairs fridge in the den. Ah well.

Now at last, the leftovers are mostly gone. The two youngest granddaughters finished their turkey cupcakes this afternoon—a project that got stranded last night when it was time for all to leave for the movies. The kids drove the “mule” for the last time. I assume they may have made any last decisions or conversations about their on-going group book project that they have been working on for a year or so. Jeannie straightened bedrooms and put the sheets from the couches and air mattresses through the laundry. Kids were told to pack up their clothes and stuff. There were emotional hugs as cousins parted company from one another. Granddogs were loaded to leave, and after the final farewells, I took Sam and his friend Tyler home. We enjoyed the neighbors' beautiful Christmas lights as we drove.

Gerald and I watched television together. Two people don’t make much noise.

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