Time to take a breather from the aftermath of the elections. Time to turn away from Iraq, Iran, immigration, taxes, and Elton John rattling on about religion. Time to stop thinking about the weather (although Iíd keep an eye out to see if the animals are pairing up two by two) and take a moment to unwind.
Thanksgiving being this week, I thought Iíd jot down a few things Ė The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Ė I remember from Thanksgivings Iíve survived.
Do feel free to add to the list as you go along.
The Good: Having approximately a boxcar full of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and in-laws gathered together for the holiday.
The Bad: Getting a nose full of all of the different lotions and perfumes being worn that day.
The Ugly: As a kid, being pinched on the cheek about a thousand and one times by every female present.
The Good: All of the great smells coming from the kitchen.
The Bad: Having to wait for dinner while your stomach sounds like a Kenworth idling on a cold morning.
The Ugly: Being given a stick of celery or a carrot "to hold you" until everythingís ready.
The Good: Moving up to the "big" table with all of the grownups.
The Bad: Noticing that no one pays any attention to you unless you spill something and having to listen to all of the "adult talk" which generally runs to past, present, and future operations.
The Ugly: Going back to the "kidsí" table and realizing you donít fit in there either.
The Good: Roast turkey. Mashed potatoes with real butter. Homemade biscuits. Sweet potato pie with melted marshmallows on top. Sausage stuffing and shrimp dressing. Green beans with almonds. Ambrosia - a dish given to southerners by a benevolent and loving God.
The Bad: Creamed corn from a (lot of) can(s).
The Ugly: Green Jello with carrot bits all through it.
The Good: After the blessing, enjoying the crispy, fat-laden skin (itís best to wipe your fingers on the side of your chair when no oneís looking), which is still (no matter what the bean curd and whey crowd says) the best-tasting part of the whole bird.
The Bad: Sneaking into the kitchen later in the day to get "just one more piece of dark meat" to soothe the craving that no amount of "skinless, white meat" can ever satisfy.
The Ugly: Tofu. The poor souls whoíd eat this stuff on Thanksgiving are nuttier than a squirrelís lunch.
The Good: Understanding that pecan pie is actually a health food since itís made from nuts (pecans) and wheat (flour) Ė two of the best substances in the food pyramid. I will admit that the recipe for this recipe does call for several other ingredients. They are, however, used only (I promise) to give the pie body.
The Bad: Putting a double scoop of ice cream and some whipped cream on top of the pie while asserting that this satisfies the "milk and dairy" section of the food pyramid.
The Ugly: Crowning the whole concoction with a cherry and declaring that the fruit portion is now also included.
The Good: Knowing that Christmas is right around the corner.
The Bad: Eating leftover Thanksgiving turkey until itís just about the time to bake the Christmas turkey.
The Ugly: knowing that very few of the calories we ingested at Thanksgiving will have been worked off in the meantime.
The Good: Actually thinking to yourself: "I swear Iím going to go easy on the food this Thanksgiving."
The Bad: Saying to everyone at the table: "Well maybe just one more helping. What could it hurt?"
The Ugly: Saying to your significant other: "This scale has got to be wrong and, by the way, would you be more careful when you wash my pants. You shrunk them again."
The Good: Christmas decorations are now (appropriately) on display in stores.
The Bad: Noticing that the earliest were up before Halloween.
The Ugly: Knowing that, eventually, weíll reach the point where they appear shortly after Labor Day.
The Good: Being home and with family for Thanksgiving.
The Bad: Being away from home and family for Thanksgiving.
The Ugly: Being somewhere where you get shot at during the holiday. Do remember our troops in your prayers this year.
The Good: Iíve got almost 800 words here.
The Bad: Thereís another column due next week.
The Ugly: Itíll probably be about something thatíll get your blood pressure going.