Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Thanksgiving Gamble

No worries--no money was put on the table and lost, nor was any possession or property.  In fact, it was more of a lesson learned--

If you are going to keep the floors dry so the children won't slip in water and fall down, just push an adult down...one will probably fall anyway.

Amazing words of wisdom, I know.  And I am also sure that is exactly what you expected to hear, right?  Ha!  Come with me if you will as I tell you the little story behind it...


Anyone who inhabited or, for that matter, was merely passing through our part of the country in the last 48 hours can attest to the extremely wet, cold, and generally dismal weather we've had.  After months of little to no rain, we got our back pay--in lump sum.  If only it had been colder, it might have been snow and therefore not as nasty and mucky and muddy to get out in.  All day long the rain kept coming, and as we counted every single person who would be attending Zuber Thanksgiving (29 if anyone is counting), it became obvious to me that our European counterparts are onto something with the whole "don't wear shoes inside the house" thing.  If everyone were to keep their wet shoes on, there would be little puddles throughout the house and soppy patches of carpet (and a with a dog who is phobic of peeing outside during inclement weather, we need NO help in the mysterious puddle department).  Aside from being messy, with 2 babies and a handful of boisterous young ones running about, there was the possibility that someone was going to slip and fall down as they were playing.  So I made the "command decision" to post signs at both entrances--even though one entrance was blocked by temporarily established dining table--asking for the removal of shoes upon entering.  I even called everyone and gave notice ahead of time so that no one thought I was doing this to further burden them--coming in out of nasty weather with food and belongings in tow only to be required to stop and disrobe (partially).  And for the most part it worked out fine.  Until the fall. 

Someone (and not a child) had left their shoes in the middle of the entry way right in front of the door, and Granny (my mom) was attacked by them.  Ok.  Maybe "attacked" isn't the right word.  But she went down regardless.  In the frenzied moments right before dinner is about to be served and every inch of countertop space is needed, she decided to take the now-out-of-work roasting rack that had so lovingly and dutifully hugged our turkey through it's roasting, out onto the backporch.  "A little rain will just prewash it for us!"  Famous last words?  You be the judge...but I digress.  She was a woman on a mission and as she approached the half-open door, Carl was just two seconds too slow in his verbal warning of the shoes in the way.  She tripped on them and reached for the nearest thing she could to steady herself...unfortunately it happened to be the half-opened door which is movable so she fell anyway, but ended up shutting her hand in the door, hitting her head on it, and knocking her glasses askew.  Before I go on, I must add that she is fine.  Her fingers are bruised a bit as are both knees, the glasses fixed, and the head--no worse than it was before.  She may be a little sore for a few days, but nothing serious, so rest easy. 

However, I am at the stove putting the finishing touches on the gravy when this all went down and all I did was hear the commotion and the mention of "I tripped on the shoes."  Let me give you a moment to take it in and ponder it...  Perhaps you've guessed it, but my first thought was, "#$%&! This is all my fault because I just HAD to have everyone take their shoes off!!"  Now don't be surprised by this.  I am a human.  Furthermore, I am a female human--we tend to be a bit more emotionally unstable than our male counterparts (sometimes).  And even furthermore...I am a PREGNANT and highly HORMONAL female human...yeah...that's a cocktail to approach with caution, trust me. 

Once I fully realized (which didn't take all that long) that mom was going to be fine, all I could do was stand there and stir the gravy while fighting back tears.  Logically, I knew it was not my fault.  It was no one's fault, but our hearts don't always give into logic so quickly.  When mom tried to approach me immediately then to remind me all was well, I just couldn't talk and I told her so.  It wasn't because I was a wreck or was still blaming myself, but it was because if I had started talking, I would have opened the flood gates to too many tears.  I don't use the term floodgate loosely either.  Pregnant mother of 2.  Husband deployed to combat zone.  Living in another's home.  Another family-focused holiday without my husbad--they never get easier.  Ever.  If I had started bawling because of guilt from the fall, then I would also start crying tears of relief that she was fine.  Those would snowball to tears of self-pity and sadness.  SO...in all seriousness, my stirring that gravy was my way of being the little Dutch boy with my finger plugging the leak in the dam.  And it worked.  Dinner was served--chaotic buffet style--less than 10 minutes later with nary a tear in sight.

I guess, to me, it made me thankful for contentedness (which ironically was what I was wanting to right about in the last posting anyway).  Things don't always go perfectly.  The best laid and well-intended plans can go to hell in a hand basket at a moments notice.  Tears flow.  People fall.  Gravy gets lumps.  Salads go forgotten in the fridge (sorry about that Libby...that's a story for another time).  They aren't the joyous, wondrous, "high" moments of like, but they are not tragic and heart-breaking ones either.  We will cool off, get through them, and move on without too much effort.  We are...content.  Which is 90% of life...at least.  So enjoy those "just okay" moments and be thankful for them. 

...afterall...if it's just shoes we are tripping on in life's journey, we've got it pretty good...it's a heck of lot better than tripping on a landmine....

Happy Thanksgiving.

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