I woke up around 11:00 am this morning with a Thanksgiving hangover. No, not from drinking, because my parents house in an alcohol free zone, which after the months I’ve lived in Rabbit Hash Kentucky, I’m almost thankful for that alone. My hangover is a combination type, from over eating and noise. I’ve become rather used to my quiet nights on the river at Lizzie’s in the Hash. Granted my mom’s house is usually pretty chaotic, this thanksgiving was no exception.
I decided this year, since I’m single and didn’t have anyone else’s family thanksgiving to visit that I would come spend the whole day at my parents house and help with dinner preparations. My 58 year old mother was off work for the first time in 8 years. Upon her request for me to come and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade in the morning like “old times”, I decided to just make the hour drive up to Cincinnati the night before so that I didn’t have to wake up super early Thanksgiving morning to make it here in time.
I left the house with intentions of being at my moms around 9, but ya know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. After visiting a few friends from Cincy, I finally pulled into Mom’s driveway close to 1 am. After carrying in my two baskets of dirty laundry to wash and small suitcase I’d packed, I pretty much went straight to bed. I had the privilege of sleeping in the room my mom has set up for my three little girl cousins, and despite sleeping in a bed that’s made for a 7 year old, a real mattress was soooo much more comfortable than my luxury fold out couch in Liz’s living room.
I woke up Thursday morning to the smell of baking cinnamon rolls and could foretell that I would be thoroughly disgusted with my eating habits by the end of the day. We had a home cooked breakfast, watched the parade and of course I overdid it on the cinnamon rolls (I can’t help myself). We had some educational moments. First I pointed out to my dad that the parade is one giant advertisement, and then we made sort of a game of pointing out inconspicuous brand names and logos on floats and anchor people name dropping specific companies that sponsor the parade. Dad says he’ll never see the parade the same again lol. I prepared the turkey, begrudgingly, with Mom’s guidance, and as I was elbow deep in the turkey’s rear end (and also just absolutely disgusted with being a human) I brought up that we should be thankful to this turkey for his life, since after all, he was killed and now we were going to eat him. My mom retorted with, if we didn’t kill the turkeys and eat them, they’d be over populated.
Lol. I explained to her that us humans are the ones who are over populated, and we are not controlling the wild animal population by killing them for our food. Instead we are mass producing animals in a way that is super unhealthy for both the animals and the people that eat them, in an attempt to keep up with the greedy appetites of humanity, mainly Americans. Although I do eat meat, at this point in my life I try to not eat meat or fish if it is not ethically raised in a humane and fair way for the animal and a processed in a healthy way for me to put into my body. I’ve become (for the most part) unwilling to compromise my moral standards for affordability.
Ok, so I made it through preparing dinner, and the family politics , and finally got a shower and dressed before company arrived. This year we were short a few people, but if my cousin Heather and her 7, yes count them, 7 children show up to holidays, there’s never a shortage of noise or chaos. Since the kids were coming, I decided to get a movie for us all to watch, but trying to get 7 kids and several adults to sit still and be quiet for a movie is like trying to herd cats.
After too much dinner, struggling through the movie, and sharing laughs and stories with the family, I was pooped and ready for bed. I lay in the tiny twin bed and looked over at the nightlight that belonged to me as a little girl.
It was a gift from my grandpa when my mom was pregnant. I felt nostalgic and it swelled in my heart. I realized that despite the chaos and craziness, these are the people I love and care for. They may drive me crazy sometimes, and I them, but I wouldn’t trade them for the world.