Seven years ago, my daughters and I enjoyed our first Thanksgiving in our new home. Through the day, the kids listened to WETA’s “Classical Countdown” of listeners’ top 90 favorite symphonies. As the numbers went down, they became animated, waiting to hear if their choices made the top picks. Number 8 was a Gershwin composition, “Rhapsody in Blue.” Oh, the anguish! “GERSHWIN?!” they shouted. “I can’t believe they picked Gershwin! He doesn’t write symphonies! He has all those annoying xylophones! His music is awful!”
Laurel was in a foul mood when the fourth place symphony came on, and her demeanor changed instantly when she realized it was one of her picks, Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8.
While I had a glorious bike ride in the early afternoon, Caitlin tried her hand at her first pie crust, with no guidance. It came out pretty well, and she filled it with prepared mincemeat–our “let’s try it” dish to accompany our traditional lasagna, salad, and French bread.
We had dinner at the table given to us by my Dem buddy and fellow Merry Mischief Maker Jane and her husband Paul; sitting in chairs my former neighbors let me pluck from their trash; using plates given to us by kind Dem acquaintances Pat and Bob; using lovely, brand new flatware given to us by a fellow homeschooler and once divorced mom, Kathy; and lifted toasts of sparkling cider in the celebration cup I had commissioned from an Arlington potter several years ago. As we went around the table to say what we are thankful for, Caitlin blew me away when she raised her glass to me, thanking me for “buying this house, where we can feel what we need to feel, be what we need to be, and do what we want.” I laughed and cried concurrently.
After dinner, the three of us went into the living room to watch a movie–our first on the “new” TV. The VHS movie, “Major League,” was a gift from Dick, my supervisor at work; the TV from my longtime good friend, Jill; and the VCR from another homeschool friend, Rachel. We sat on sofas given to us by Pat and Bob, the girls propped their feet on the coffee table given to us by my good friend Barb, and we had light from the lamp contributed by my good friend, Rhonda, who, the kids often say is “The Same!” as me.
My girls thought the movie was pretty bad, with virtually no plot. I must have thought so, too, as I fell asleep part way through. But, still, we had a fine time, cozy, comfortable, and thankful in the home that so many helped us make, the one I had named My Palace of Peace.