Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Canadian Thanksgiving - Polite and Understated.

Our Kevin
Here in Canada we sit in anticipation of our long, frigid winter.  We are now in the midst of Autumn, also known as Fall, as the leaves turn brown and fall off the tree.  It is actually a wonderful season marked by colourful drives in the country, apple picking and the smell of fireplaces.  How Norman Rockwell I am today.  It is the season when I find money in my fall jacket and kids jump and hide in the leaves. The farmers market is rocking. However, there is always a downside to autumn.

A leaf blower is revving up as the most popular man toy, surpassed only by the snow blower. In Canada we really like to blow stuff around. Leaf blowers are a pet peeve of mine. They sound like fingernails being scraped down a mountain. They work well to rid the lawn of all the blasted leaves. However the guy next door may not agree.
I expect it is a guy thing.  Kind of like a Shop Vac or a Power Washer. These are "must-haves" in a "guy" home.  Leaf Blowers are eyed by any 10 year old boy who is waiting for clumsy Dad to stumble and break a limb. Using the Leaf Blower is kind of a Right of Passage.  When our neighbours go nuts on their Leaf Blower I am inside with my fingers in my ears, humming The Hokey Pokey.  However, when it is our turn to "do the leaves"  the old fashioned way, I am hiding in the rafters of the garage "looking for another rake".

Bridget is home for Reading Week.  This is a term that has made me laugh since 1980.  Bridget has several assignments to do, but I think she is holding off, as it is READING week, not WRITING week.  She will head back soon.  Her assignment requires something called "print sources" which I quickly assumed meant something written on paper. She has somehow exhausted the Orangeville Library's extensive collection of up to date resources on complex media study issues.  She is Toronto bound.

Last week was spent in preparation for hosting Canadian Thanksgiving.   I don't think our Thanksgiving is as built up as American Thanksgiving. Canadian families come home but it just seems that my American relatives take Thanksgiving to another level.  Canadian Thanksgiving, like Canadians is more low key.  It is lovely as it comes before the snow flies and without the hustle and bustle of Christmas. I think it is my favourite holiday for this reason.

 At mid week I find the turkey and wrestle it into the fridge.  No ham this year.  We have 2 Vegetarian guests, so we are having Quinoa instead.  I
 dig out the potato recipe and I start to peel.  Derek has traditionally been in charge of the turnip chopping and has, on occasion, used an ax.  I think it's instinctual, as provider, since someone already killed the turkey.  I pile on a few more vegetables and search for the turkey baster.  I actually had sore muscles from pulling the turkey in and out of the oven.  I found the gravy boat and Bridget has the fridge filled with beverages.  So nice when children can do a LCBO run.   Desserts that were once baked by me are now outsourced to the Farmer's Market.  They do such a great job.  Family arrived while our house was mid-nap.  This is not unusual.  It is hard to find our home when someone is not mid-nap.
Maggie, Katie, Emily and Bridget
 The whole crew contributed, including my 2 nieces who have reached the level of maturity where they ask "what can I bring".  It is so sweet to see how nieces and nephews have grown before my eyes from babies to be such strong and special people.  They even bring wine!

We had a wonderful dinner with stories of new jobs, promotions, school antics, future plans, new grand babies, teeth, recent travels, love interests, upcoming moves and the benefits of nepotism, when you niece does her job so well. This generation has got it pretty well together.  I smiled and nodded my head all  night. There was no shortage of food and the canollis went over big!  When my navel popped into an outsy I knew, from roasting enough turkeys, that I was done. 

Clean up was done by a Derek who knows there is nothing hotter than a husband who cleans while I sleep.
Granddad Looking on.

Granddad sat back and smiled at this lot that he had created.  There was 1 seat at the table that was so sadly empty this year.  This heartbreak was lost on no one.  Kids, your Grandma would be so proud.
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