Sometimes I feel melancholy being apart from my four siblings and my parents (and Marty) during the holidays. But then maybe I idealize our time together. Maybe I’d get sick of them if I lived closer. Or they’d get sick of me. Or someone would walk away right when we had dishes to do. (No, not my sibs!)
Chris’s family is so responsible they fight over who can jump up the fastest to clear after a holiday meal — practically elbowing each other out of the dining room door arms full of dishes, rushing to the dishwasher, while I’m still savoring that last forkful of mashed, stuffing, and turkey. Please don’t rush me. Although well, there are many kinds of pie coming — what the heck. I’m done with the turkey. Bring on dessert.
It is hard to keep up with the Joneses. I like to sit with my hands wrapped around a hot cup of something after a meal. Like a Hobbit, I like the warm drink to creep into the nooks and crannies of that last good meal. When I was little, my Dad read to us from the Hobbit on summer nights after dinner in our backyard in Skokie, even before we moved to Park Ridge.
This reminds me – while memories happen while eating big family holiday meals, memories also get impressed on us during the moments of reading or sitting together after a meal.
I’d like to write more about this right now, but I hear the laughter, pots, and pans from the kitchen. Someone’s singing. There’s the smell of pumpkin pie. The family is cooking and I should go help. I don’t want to be known as the sister-in-law who doesn’t pitch in. Not that any one of us – no, not a one of us, would walk away when there are dishes to do.
Although one person might sit a bit too long warming her hands on her coffee mug. But rest assured, dear friends and family, I’ll get up in a minute. I’ll set, I’ll clear, I’ll scour the pans and prep for the next delicious meal. I’ll do my share. I’ll be there in a minute.