… on thanksgiving power struggles


Number One Son Sam and Roommate Curry, 4:32 a.m., 26 November 2014.

The photo above is completely incontrovertible proof that the world is indeed grey and blurry when one stays up all night.



Number One Son Sam and Roommate Curry were headed home on Tuesday, to beat the Thanksgiving rush (and a snowstorm).  And we were having Thanksgiving dinner for 21 people at our house so here was how it was all going to unfold:

I would do my first wave of shopping on Tuesday during the day.

I would come home and my Nearly Perfect Husband would be there to meet me.

He would kiss me lightly on the cheek and help me unload my car and all would fit perfectly in my fridge and freezer.

We would relax over a nice cup of hot tea or cocoa, in front of the fire (the house being perfectly neat and clean and dust and fur free).

My dogs would lounge at my feet.  Self Proclaimed Perfect Boy Gabe offering to get me an extra pillow, knowing of the heroic work required of me, beginning early the following morning, the last day before Thanksgiving at our house for – did I mention – 21 fellow humans.

At 11:00 p.m., JoHn would leave for the airport and, by midnight, one additional cherub and his excellently humor-filled roommate would come through the door. We would talk and laugh briefly, and then we would all turn in because, in the morning, I would get up and head right out for phase two of my food purchasing, and subsequent early food prep would follow.

To summarize:

An easy-peasy Thanksgiving planning, followed by the safe arrival of all cherubs and their friends, subsequently followed – of course – by seamless prep of all consumables, and full bellies and the resulting sleepy, happy, smiley faces all around my perfectly decorated and sparkling table at 1:00 Thanksgiving afternoon.

Got it now?


Here is what actually happened.

Phase one of shopping resulted in turkeys (totaling more than 35 pounds) a little large for the downstairs fridge… if you wanted to fit anything else (like, a pickle or something).

Mad clean out of upstairs fridge.

A rather lot of picking up of house and purging of all dog hair.

The remaining – I mean resident – dust bunnies?  They stayed.

At 6:00 or so, we learned that Sam’s and Curry’s connection from Orlando was delayed and they would now be arriving at 1:30.


But I am a way better stayer-upper than the Nearly Perfect Husband so I cheerily said – seriously, I totally cheerily said this – “I’ll get ’em. No prob.”

So at 8:15 p.m., Sam and Curry were got into Orlando.

At 10:00 p.m. they were still in Orlando.

And also at 11:00 p.m.

And then they were there at 12:00 a.m.

And… you guessed it… 1:00 a.m.

At 1:25 a.m. Sam texted that they were in line to board.

They boarded at 1:45.

And at 4:00 a.m., the day before Thanksgiving, I left my house for the airport.

I took the grey and blurry photo at 4:34 a.m.

I walked into my bedroom at 5:15 a.m.

I was at Shaws Supermarket at 9:04 a.m.

And then it started to snow.

Kind of a lot.

So I was all cheery (again! What is the matter with me?!) when I texted JoHn and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll go grab the pies and cake because the roads are awful and you shouldn’t have to leave the house later to go get them.”

Clearly I was delirious.

So the roads were pretty horrible while I drove all around and they were getting worse.

And I finally got home and First Born Mac and Half Kid Jack were there already, having beaten the snow to Massachusetts. They were going to get Navy Friend Calvin from a rendezvous point (note the military lingo there) in Boston at about 11 that night.

And the Nearly Perfect Husband had done a quick final vacuuming, for which expected wild congratulations.



Adulation appreciated.


All sketchy things behind us…. now for the tea by the fire with the dogs and no dog hair.

But no.

Navy Friend Calvin’s car went off the road (all are fine) and blew out a tire on i84 in Tolland, Connecticut at about 9:30 that night, while Mac and Jack were on their way to meet him (rendezvous point). So they drove to get him in Connecticut instead, because why not.

All were safe and home by 2 a.m.

Snow was falling big time.

It was awesome and sticky and beautiful early the next morning.



Thanksgiving Morning, Dunstable Massachusetts

That’s at 7:00 Thanksgiving morning… and isn’t it pretty? Isn’t the light gorgeous?

That’s good… because it was the only light we had.

Because shortly before 7:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning, there was a little noise, and then the fan in our room spun down to a stop.

Which indicated that, with 35+ pounds of turkey to cook, potatoes to make; stuffing, squash, sweet potatoes and pork pies to re-heat. Gravy to lovingly create…

I had not an ounce of power to do it with.

So we sent texts out to Houston (those coming from away) that we had a problem.

And as sleepy young people wandered downstairs we laughed and toasted bagels in the fireplace and drank coffee from big “Boxes of Joe” from Dunkin Donuts.  We took turkeys and other food stuff out of the fridges and put them in the snow.

Granny stayed warm by the fire (Grampa in his bed – which I chose not to photograph (lucky you!)) and visited with the ‘kids’…

Mac and Granny

Mac and Granny


Granny and ‘The Boys’

And, ever the optimist, I set the table for 21 people.

The estimated time for power restoration, according to the electric company, was between 5 and 6:00 p.m.. I committed to cook turkeys whenever it came on, even if it was midnight.

But just before 2:00 in the afternoon, the lights began to glow.

And texts went out and, a couple of hours later, people and their winter coats and their boots trampled through the door.

And smells wafted, and voices swelled, and clinking silverware and plates and glasses happened.

And later, the ‘kids’ sat down to their traditional game of “spoons”, which I don’t understand but used my camera to capture the slow procession toward the inevitable, very loud and chaotic conclusion…

And all was right with the world.

And I gave thanks, quietly and to myself, for fellow humans, and a roof above my head, and great food in my belly.

And lights, unto the world…

Provided by National Grid of Massachusetts.

Thanks for readin’.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs always, you can come on over to Just Ponderin’s Facebook page to comment or just hang out.



Did I mention it is now officially Decorating Day?