- On Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving in which I was simultaneously cleaning bathrooms, doing laundry, and giving the dogs a talk about how to behave, I went to the kitchen to begin making Cranberry-Orange relish, a family Thanksgiving staple that must be made the day before. After a careful search of the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry, I ascertained that there were no cranberries in the house. I survived a trip to the store only to return home and carefully search through the pantry for flour, which was also missing. After another trip to the store where I bumped carts, arms, and other unfortunate things with other Houstonians, I returned home to complete my duties. After the dips were made, relish refrigerated, and family arrived, I related how I had saved Thankgiving by bravely going to the grocery store. Andy promptly went to the kitchen and produced an unopened bag of flour from the freezer. No news yet on the cranberries, though.
- After gluttonously filling our bellies with a feast of Thanksgiving favorites, I pushed back from the table and sighed with contentment. My mother-in-law followed suit. Raider, who had been begging on his hind legs for the entire meal, let out a high-pitched sigh of hunger and impatience. No comedian has ever had better timing.
- After eating, Andy's mother brought in a tub of ornaments she had been collecting for him since he was born--a new ornament each year. When Andy was small, he helped pick out ornaments that meant something to him. Andy's mother also brought a set of tin trains (Andy's father is a train engineer). We all set up and decorated our brand new tree and spread good Christmas cheer throughout the apartment. My stepmother and brother-in-law spread icicle lights across the balcony. It means so much to look at these things and think of our family helping us put them out (what a thoughtful thing that Andy's mother did--the ornaments are so special).
- Then, Andy and his family surprised me with a small blow-up set of penguins. I love tacky Christmas decorations. The penguins are fabulous.
- And we went to the beach. Because we leave thirty minutes from the beach now. Can you believe it? I barely can myself. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I walked barefoot in the sand with my family along the beach, picking up shells and watching little live shell-creatures bury down deep into the sand. It was cool but not cold, a perfect time of year.
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