Since I’ve last written, I’ve had some wild days. Not wild, as in unpredictable–but wild, as in busy. During church last Sunday, Jeff got a call from his aunt that his grandmother had been admitted to the hospital. She was “talking out of her head” and her face looked as if she’d had a stroke. To make a long story short, she didn’t have a stroke and they sent her home with a diagnosis of severe fatigue and depression. For 16 years, she’s taken care of her husband with Parkinsons. These days, he gets up 8-10 times per night to go to the bathroom. He falls often. He has to be fed and bathed. She’s a very tiny woman whose muscles are degenerating. She can’t handle it anymore. They have been fighting being put into nursing home because they don’t want to leave their own home. But, I think they are starting to realize that they just aren’t able to do this anymore. They had a nurse who came in every day to help, but it was too much for her, too, and she quit. Their daughter, who is legally blind and can’t drive, has been caring for them for a while now and she is exhausted, too. Her blood pressure is up and her back is in serious trouble from picking her father up and down.
Jeff got up early on Monday so that we could drive to Anderson to check on them. Right now, Jeff’s grandmother is staying with her daughter and Jeff’s dad is taking care of his father at their house. We made a stop at both houses so that they could see Carter. He’s our little ambassador of good will. Just watching him lifts their spirits. We stayed for dinner with Jeff’s parents and drove home. On the way home, I started really thinking about getting old. We all have to. Don’t get me wrong–it’s definitely better than the alternative: dying young. But, I never want Jeff to have to wipe my butt or change my adult diapers. If I get to that point, I told him to please take the both of us somewhere where we can get help with those things.
While in Anderson, Jeff’s aunt pulls me aside and she’s nearly in tears. You see, this year it’s her duty to host the Presley family Thanksgiving. It’s held every 2 years in either Anderson, Atlanta or Daytona. The Presley’s come from all over to attend. With all that she’s going through, she doesn’t feel like she can handle the pressure of getting her home ready for Thanksgiving. Feeling it was the right thing to do, I offered my house and she accepted. This is how I came to to inflict several more wild days on myself. I take these hosting duties very seriously, and I really like to organize and plan.
Tuesday I emailed the family to let them know of the change and give them directions to get here. Then, I cuddled up with my recipe books and went to town. Thankfully, Ruth is bringing the bird. I have no doubt that I could cook a turkey with some good directions, but that’s a job I’d just rather not have. But, everything else is up to me. After searching and researching, I came up with a suitable menu for Thanksgiving that combines things that Jeff loves with things that my grandmother usually makes. Isn’t it funny how some people just can’t have Thanksgiving without certain foods? We’re having, turkey, dressing, stuffing, savory mashed sweet potatoes, collard greens, homemade cranberry/orange sauce, cream corn, fried okra, English pea salad, Jason green beans, maple glazed carrots, herb knot rolls, tea, water and hot apple cider. For dessert, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, coconut pie, fudge and no-bake chocolate cookies.
Wednesday, I started in on the house. I cleaned up and cleaned out. I even washed windows. I don’t think these windows have ever been washed since we built it over 2 years ago. After doing the outside of one window, I realized that I’d first have to wash it before I could clean it. Now it’s like we have HD windows. The surrounding countryside has never looked so beautiful. That afternoon, I went to Hobby Lobby and found their Thanksgiving and fall decor was 80% off. SCORE! I spent on $13 to Thanksgivingize my house. Now there are pumpkins, scarecrows, orange candles and a big black crow wearing overalls. It looks very festive.
Thursday I planned the logistics. Hotels for people to stay in close by, brunch the next day, tables, chairs, plates, napkins, etc. Thanksgiving, here I come!