Thursday, November 25, 2010

Flights of Angels Sing Me To My Rest

Both sides of my family always had holiday meals at lunch time. Late, special Sunday lunch time but midday. You got up, you cooked, you ate, you napped. It's how I'm hard wired.

Today I didn't cook or eat a big meal but I did get up early and get to work, such as it was. I took the dog on a walk in the park, visited with some folks there. Once he was set I cleaned up and headed into Manhattan to meet a friend and deliver some meals. Two more stops to wish a happy holiday to some other friends not celebrating conventionally and home I headed.

Upon arrival I found that the little dog had torn open the paper recycling, the only disposal container guaranteed not to have anything delicious in it, and strewn some contents over the floor before pulling a cushion down from the couch and taking a well-deserved nap. It's not hard to clean up paper so no harm done and he was so glad to see me I had a tough time being angry. He was, in fact, so cute I decided I needed to take a Thanksgiving photo of him to send to Queen Bee. She needs regular infusions of puppy photos. Well, one thing led to another, as they say, and I found found myself lying on the floor with the dog laid out full length on my torso chewing on a rawhide from the dollar store. The picture turned out kind of great.

My mother and I have a long standing rule that if you're asked to do something you can get out of it cleanly if you can truthfully complete the following sentence: "I can't [insert task], there's a [companion animal] on my lap." So after I sent the photo I just stayed where I was. My eyes closed of their own accord. I didn't tell them to do that. About two commercials later (Burn Notice Thanksgiving Day marathon, you can set your internal clock by it) I noticed a familiar feeling.

Often my mother's family celebrated holidays at Aunt Catherine's house. There was plenty of room for us all to move around in and a state of the art kitchen to work with. The living room, though, was uniquely designed for the people that lived there and didn't make provision for anyone else. There was a piano, an organ, three barcoloungers, a couple of side tables and that was about it. After a holiday meal it was first come first served on the barcoloungers and if you were a member of the youngest generation at a 4 generation Thanksgiving you didn't get one. Some people helped clean up from the cooking but as a member of that 4th generation you could also usually get away with having table clearing count as your contribution to that. Others played cribbage or Scrabble but I wasn't nearly cut throat enough for that Thunderdome. I could have grabbed a book and gone to another room but I was probably taking a page from my grandfather's book when I lay down on the living room floor. There would be football or Lawrence Welk (whole different post) on the TV and my eyes would close. Maybe it's an only child thing but I suspect it's just human that the feeling of lightly napping while people work on about you is a balm to me.

I was getting that feeling today on my own floor with just the menagerie around me. It was nice. Eventually, though, I started to feel anxious. I owed my mother an email, I had to make pudding in case I got invited to dessert later, I was thirsty. Small dog is only a small dog, his attention span is small to fit his stature. He got up and wandered off to find another chewie, chase another cat, drink some more water so my excuse was gone, too. I got up. I sent the email. I made the pudding. I got a drink.

I'd remembered something else down there on the floor, though. A little over a year ago I had lain down in that same spot, spooning my beloved German Shepherd for hours while we waited for the vet to come and permanently ease her pain. At the time I wished I'd spent more time curled up with my dog.

So when the little anxieties were taken care of I grabbed the remote and a pillow and lay right back down. Eddie gathered up a few of his favorite things, nudged my head over a little and nestled down next to me. I closed my eyes again, breathed in the smell of hyperactive little dog and let the dulcet tones of Bruce Campbell sing me a Thanksgiving lullaby.

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope your day was filled with delicious memories.


  1. Lovely. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. I love this - I spend many evenings curled up on the floor with my pup watching tv snuggled under a blanket. She is too old to get up on the couch with me and I miss that - so I figured why not get to her level - so I do. Happy Thanksgiving.