God Bless America

In case you’re wondering, this is not a super patriotic post about why America is awesome. This is the story of Thanksgiving 2010, a day that will live in infamy within my family.
My aunt had moved back to Texas earlier that year and wanted to host Thanksgiving dinner for the family in her shiny new home. My aunt is a fantastic cook and a great hostess, so we decided to humor her, even though her home isn’t really big enough to fit our entire family (there are a lot of us, OK?). She told us to be at her house at 1:00 on Thanksgiving Day for an amazing feast of deliciousness. We waited eagerly in anticipation of the big day.
Dad and I carpooled since I was still at home. We got to the old hometown early to visit with my grandmother before it was time to go over to my aunt’s house for the meal. We talked for a while, and then suddenly Mimi got a phone call from my aunt. There were a lot of “mmhms” and “OKs,” then Mimi hung up and told us that Thanksgiving dinner would be delayed by an hour. We were disappointed, but an hour really isn’t too long a time to wait when you can grab a quick slice of toast to tide you over. We waited and talked and waited some more, until the appointed time came. We decided to play it safe and call my aunt before heading over. When Mimi got off the phone, she turned to us and said, “B’s septic system backed up into the kitchen. F is over there right now helping her get it fixed and cleaned up. She’ll call us when she’s ready for us to come over.”
When we finally did get to head over, my aunt greeted us wearing a white wifebeater with her hair in a super high ponytail a la Pebbles and a plunger in her hand. Was the kitchen entirely cleaned up? Nope. She told us to go wait in the living room, enjoy some appetizers, and write down things we were thankful for on a little clothespin tree in the center of the room. This was at 2:30.
By 3:00, all the guests had arrived and were milling about in the living room. Everyone was hungry and starting to get grouchy. Soon my aunt and uncle came in to the living room and announced that Thanksgiving dinner was served. As the patriarch of the family, my father was asked to pray. After his prayer, my uncle piped up, “You know, times like this always make me thankful for our military.” My grandfather was in the Navy, so we are a pretty patriotic family. “Let’s sing God Bless America.” Nothing says Thanksgiving like a patriotic hymn.
After all this, we followed my aunt through the kitchen, past all the wonderful-smelling food, and into the garage where my aunt had set up several tables with fancy tablecloths and place settings. Then my aunt proceeded to serve us butternut squash soup one by one. We did eventually get to go into the kitchen and get food, and everything was fine, but boy some of the family members were pretty cranky that they had to wait.
So that was Thanksgiving 2010. Needless to say, my poor aunt has not hosted another holiday in her home since.

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