That day, when you realize that your parents live in a house in which you used to live, but which is no longer your home or your house, is a strange and stirring reminder that you've reached adulthood and are aware of it.
Thanksgiving was a blast. It didn't snow, but it rained for hours -- the whole day, actually -- and the trip to Jersey was uneventful, even if the rain and the temperature were less-than-inviting. The day and night was great -- nothing but food, football, family and fun. And relaxation. As I pulled up to the house, my sister and my mom were preparing to go out to get some final touches for dinner -- some rolls and some other miscellaneous accoutrement to go with dinner and/or the day itself. So I wound up on turkey duty: I basted, turned, examined, took the temperature of, and basically fawned over the bird in the oven with one eye while another focused on football.
Dinner was amazing. We had some eats throughout the day -- fresh shrimp, a cheese plate, pate, the unusual suspects -- and otherwise enjoyed the collective company and the lack of any schedule or external pressure to be anywhere, do anything or have any requirements whatsoever.
The interesting thing about dinner was the lack of a microwave -- we had all our side dishes prepped and ready to go -- mashers, stuffing, string beans almondine, a mashed mix of squashes (butternut and acorn), honey-glazed cinnamon carrots and roast potatoes (my dad loves 'em) -- and the microwave took the ol' dirt nap. So aside from some fancy stepping -- and arranging both ovens to be filled with the side dishes -- everything came out hot, tasty and at the same time. Aside from Kaia and my grandmother not being with us, it was as perfect as it could be.
Without going into more detail -- and why would I want to make this entry even more boring than it already is -- it was just a nice way to spend the day with family.
That night, by the time I made it to bed, Kaia was still preoccupied, three hours to the left, with her nephews S and C. S had a recent birthday so he was undoubtedly focused on showing off his wares; C, however, took a particular shine to Kaia's cell phone, which, turned on silent, was well-hidden by C and not found until much later in the evening on the other coast. By the time Kaia called me to wish me and the family a final Happy Thanksgiving, I was already well into slumber, and apparently Ozzie, the pooch, didn't enjoy the particular ringtone which I had chosen (the opening to What I Like About You, dontcha know). So apparently, while I shluffed, Ozzie proceeded to wake up the entire house, so Friday morning, when I woke up, my phone had disappeared along with any semblance of my understanding of why it had disappeared. Did the cell-phone gremlin somehow sneak into the house, hide my phone in the couch downstairs, and then sneak off into the night?
It turns out that they grabbed the phone from my nightstand and turned it off to prevent Ozzie (and any future ringing) from keeping the house from getting its tryptofanatic sleep.
The rest of the weekend, despite my parents remaining in New Jersey, was an extension of Thanksgiving. I spent time with friends, celebrated the two extra days off, watched football, met some friends downtown for some pool, and basically got some much-needed private (phone) time with Kaia. Nothing exciting, nothing out of the ordinary, and nothing that required photos, epic anecdotes or anything that resembles any hint of reclamation. It was a great weekend -- everything was perfect, with the aforementioned absences of Kaia and my grandmother aside. I spent time with family, friends, had great food (plus leftovers), football, got in touch with friends with whom I hadn't spoken in awhile, and essentially realized, yet again, that any time I find the time to complain, I really am full of shit. I have it far better than a lot of people I know, even moreso than many people I don't know, and I can't say there's much I would change. At some point, during the festivities, I kicked back on the couch, watched the fire burning and popping, and hoped next year we'd have Kaia and my grandmother nearby on the couch, in the kitchen, or flitting about somewhere in the house. They were not in the house, but they were in our hearts, so I guess next year we'll see if we can make those two little changes.
Other'n that, it was awesome.
Anyone with any great stories to share, feel free. And for anyone out there who had a great Thanksgiving without anything memorable to share herein, glad you and your families enjoyed the holiday as much as we did.
This, incidentally, was the first time since I moved out of my parents' house that staying over felt like home.
I guess I'm an adult now. Or something akin thereto.