Let’s be clear, I am NOT really expecting what I am about to write below. In all honesty, 99% of this is going to be false. However, I can hope. I can pray. After the year I’ve had (my family has had), I deserve a little Hallmark holiday movie fantasy, even though I know it’s not going to happen.
So here’s the plan as I’d like it to happen:
Tonight after I get home and have dinner (where I’m not stressed out by the workday at all), I make the Vegan Pumpkin bread (aka cake) with maple cream cheese filling. I do so with no issues and no mess. (Fantasy already).
Tomorrow (Tuesday), I get up, have coffee, watch part of the morning news and get to work. I close down and pack up the car around 2 and drive to get my son. It is not raining and traffic is not heavy. He is waiting for us and we throw his things into the car and head for the shore. Once again traffic is light and the rain hasn’t started yet. We do a quick stop at ShopRite where I pick up a prime rib and a few other things. Then we head to the house and I jump back online for work, where there are surprisingly few emails to deal with and no crises. We have a quick dinner and maybe all watch a movie together afterwards.
Wednesday: I get up and have coffee before heading to the den which has become my workstation. It’s a quiet day and I even have time to run my son down to the barber for a much-needed haircut. I buy the guys Gobblers from Wawa (because no turkey here) and have something for myself. (Along with a glass of wine.) After dinner we watch “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.” My son and I make our version of Aunt Julie’s cranberry Jell-O mold. (It’s not exactly the same with Aunt Julie not making it.)
Thanksgiving: I sleep in till nearly 7. Have some pumpkin spice bread and coffee. Maybe go watch some of the town turkey trot (if it’s not too cold). Then settle down to watch the parade. My son wakes up just as it’s starting and we all enjoy it together. Midday I throw the prime rib in the oven. I make sides like green beans, stuffing and maybe a little rice. Roast comes out just right and the three of us enjoy a Thanksgiving meal at the table where we last enjoyed a Thanksgiving brunch with my parents back in 2021. We give thanks and share good food and conversation. Our son shares his college adventures with us. Hubby does the dishes and we all sit down for a game of Scrabble (or maybe Anxiety Attack — yes, it’s a real game!). We walk up to the beach just to check things out. We nibble throughout the rest of the day and just hang out, enjoying being together.
Friday: Get up and pack up leftovers over coffee. Mid-morning, we jump in the car and head over to my in-laws in PA for what has become our traditional day after Thanksgiving deli lunch. (My mouth waters over the thought of this more than it does over the Thanksgiving meal). After good food and lots of laughs, we head home with surprisingly light traffic. We drop my son off at this girlfriend’s on the way so they can spend some time together.
Saturday: I go to work in the thrift shop, where the shoppers are all in a holiday mood and there is no arguing over prices. My son even drops by to say hello and do some shopping. My son then spends the afternoon with friends, but pops into the Friendsgiving party that we have been invited to. (Yeah! I don’t have to cook Friday or Saturday!). He spends more time with his girlfriend in the evening, but comes home at a reasonable hour, knowing that he has to return to college the next day.
Sunday: After church, we all have a light meal and then, reluctantly, drive my son back to school.
Sounds beautiful, doesn’t it? Most of these events WILL occur, just not necessarily as they have been lovingly plotted out. Traffic will be unbearable, especially when we go get our son. (Although as of now I’m not sure IF we will actually get him. A friend with a car might be able to help out. However, he isn’t leaving campus until later in the day when the weather is supposed to be terrible and you know the traffic will be. I hope to find out this afternoon how this might pan out.) I don’t know if I will be able to get a prime rib (have to call ShopRite again and see) and you know the place will be a zoo, even just to pick up a few things. Tuesday night and all day Wednesday my email box will be packed with items that need to be taken care of and I will stress out. Thursday will be cold, but the food will be good and I KNOW there will be limited conversation. (I want to know all about what my son has been up to during his first semester of college and I will end up getting one-word answers to questions.) Traffic will be atrocious going to the in-laws and heading back. After Friday we will probably never see our son, except for when he comes home (loudly) to sleep and then when we take him back to college. (Once again, traffic is sure to be a nightmare.) There may be a game of Scrabble, but I doubt as if my son will join in. He may watch “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” with us, but anything else? Highly unlikely.
Still I’m keeping my Thanksgiving fantasy. Maybe bits of it will come true. I think some will. I don’t expect the scenario that I have set above to actually come true, but if some if does, then it WILL be a Happy Thanksgiving.
Beth Shorten is a life-long resident of Verona. For nearly a decade, she has been chronicling life here on her personal site, Bfth’s Boring Blog. This post is reprinted with her permission.