Thanksgiving has been a fun couple of days! We had dinner at Mom's place yesterday-- once again she pulled off the impossible! Everything was incredible, but the highlight was probably Peggy Jean's Pumpking cheesecake with gingersnap crust. I felt bad because that was the dessert that I brought-- Mom made a beautiful pound cake and it was never even cut or tasted. I'm sure it was wonderful, and I'm sure that it was probably eaten by the rest of the out-of-town family that is staying with her until tomorrow. Jim and Angie and the kids came down from Tennessee, along with Angie's mother, Debbie. We had a really great time, and you'd never guess that Jim and Angie were divorced a year ago. Everyone got along fine- no fights, no tension, just a relaxing day that made me thankful for my family. After dinner, us "menfolk" went to Hall's Florist on Memorial Drive to pick out a Christmas tree for Mom. It's become a tradition for the last 7 years now... after we eat, the guys go shopping for the tree and the girls get out the ornaments and get ready to decorate. It's probably cliche and maybe even sexists, but it's a tradition that I look forward to every year. I don't get a lot of bonding time with my brothers, so it's nice to know that every year there will be an hour or so that we can all revert to our brotherly dynamics-- Joel (the eldest) gets to carry the money that Mom gives him for the tree. I pickout the tree and Joel pays for it. Jim doesn't really get a say, and really doesn't have an opinion. He's the youngest, and it's pretty much always been that way and he doesn't mind. He just goes along for the ride. Who knows, he may look forward to this too-- an opportunity not to have to have an opinion or make a choice for a change.
This morning I got up at the crack of dawn-- actually way before dawn cracked. At 5:30am I was in Circuit City fighting the crowds and looking for bargains. There were plenty of bargains out there, but I was practical and remembered what I could actually afford for a change. They had a 15" flat screen TV for $184, and a 32" TV for $199. People were fighting over them. If I had had an extra $200 to my name, I would've been in the middle of the melee. But I didn't have it, and didn't really need another TV of any size. Next stop was Home Depot. I'm going to remember Home Depot next year- it was the bomb! No crowd and lots of bargains. I got a nice looking artificial Christmas tree for $39 (prelighted with 500 lights), and a tool box for $5. They were also selling the 15" flatscreen TV for $199-- no lines, no fighting. Just lots of TV's sitting there waiting for the crowd. I took it as a sign from God that I was meant to have that TV, but I didn't give in. I called my brother and told him to forget Circuit City-- he went to Home Depot and got the steal of the century. I had my eye on a 12 gallon wet/dry vacuum cleaner. It was marked down to $24. Then I thought- why do I need a wet/dry vac? I passed it by and ended my shopping experience before 7am.
I went to work for a little while to finish up some payroll issues, then met the family at Market Square- we saw "Harry Potter"-- it was good, but almost 3 hours long and we had to sit on the very front row so it was hard to watch. Then we went to Radio Shack where Joel bought me another DVD player-- marked down to $29- as an early birthday present. After I left the family, I went back to Home Depot and got the wet/dry vac. I figured it's cheaper than renting a steam cleaner and I can probably get my sunroom rug just as clean with it.
I have always loved Thanksgiving, and the day after, for shopping. They practically give things away!
I came home and set up and decorated the Christmas tree- still getting the house ready for the birthday party that is only 2 weeks away. Luckily a few more RSVPs have come in, but there are still a lot of people that haven't responded. I invited over a hundred people, and as of today we've only received about 10 positive replies. Maybe people are waiting til after Thanksgiving to RSVP. I hope that's the case cause I'm working my butt off and sacraficing my days off to get this house in shape.
In closing I have to say what I'm thankful for-- we usually have this tradition at Thanksgiving where we all hold hands, say the prayer and then each of us have to tell what they are thankful for before we can eat. We didn't do that this year, so I'll do it here:
I'm especially thankful for my family- they gave me the roots to become the person I am today and they've stood by me through thick and thin. I'm thankful for my friends-- especially my East Point friends. They support me no matter how much of an ass I make of myself, they teach me that I can do the things that I've always feared doing; they encourage me to have an opinion even when it doesn't match their point of view. I'm thankful for my dogs: Betty for inspiring me to be the person that she thinks I am, Shelby for her unending ability to show affection and ignore every other distraction in the world in order to be near me, Clara for being a faithful watchdog, and King for reminding me daily that we can have all of the odds stacked against us and we can overcome them and flourish.
Thanks to all of you for being in my life. I may be poor, but on nights like this I feel so rich!