This morning, Angela and I went and picked up donuts and hit Kroger before heading back to Target House. Donuts are the traditional breakfast of Thanksgiving in Angela’s family. For over two decades we have gone to Angela’s Aunt and Uncles in the heart of rural Iowa to celebrate Thanksgiving. We always arrive the night before and when we wake up in the morning, magically, there are Casey’s donuts waiting for us on the kitchen counter. I always thought Shirley went to get them… But now I think it was Ray the whole time.
We attempted to continue the tradition at Midtown Donuts. We have been here before and it’s conveniently located a few blocks from Target House. Unlike any Caseys I have ever been to… They make a Maple Bacon donut that is quite exceptional. We got 2 of those in our dozen. Summer did nibble on a couple of “quarter” donuts… So, I held off my ire for half donuts that usually ruin my day at work.
Summer did not have chemo today, they had squeezed in her last session yesterday to save everyone the trouble today. That saved us from having to run around, even more, this morning. Summer was able to chill out after we got her up early (9 am) for the donuts.
Nate and I played a card game while Summer took a morning nap. He beat me at a 2 player Catan game. It was fun and I sometimes think Summer just likes to hear us banter back and forth. We did that a lot at CARLE when she was in and out of consciousness. She said later when she felt better that she could hear us but was always too tired to tell us to keep it down.
We popped in a DVD of Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving and marveled at Peppermint Patty’s lack of regard for the people around her. We also pondered if Marcy breaks through the 4th wall by looking to the viewers for a reaction every time Patty said something stupid at the ping pong table.
In the meantime… Angela prepared a giant feast. Sure… It was lots of frozen and prepackaged foods. But Angela did make a corn casserole from scratch as we all know it’s Summer’s favorite thing. We also know that if it’s not Grandma Julies… It will be judged harshly. Summer did get a second portion later so I think that was proof that it was an adequate substitute given the adverse conditions.
After dinner was over… Angela pulled out the pre-made cookie dough and frostings that she had brought down from Illinois. This is a giant tradition for her and the kids. I always stand back and wonder what they are doing. Just like every year in the past… Summer and Aiden giggle like little kids as they cut out unusual cookie-cutter selections and proceed to frost and decorate them. (a trip to Chicago is generally not complete without a stop at SurLaTable for cookie cutters) This year, Nate was there for the assist. This tradition would normally be done with Grandma Linda and I do love to see her reactions to the kid’s creations. Trust me, Linda… It’s more of the same you have come to expect from these two. Lobsters, Bears, Unicorns, and Snails were the cookie cutters of choice this year.
The kitchen table has a little bench against the wall. I was shocked, but not surprised when I saw Summer laying down a few times during the cookie session. She has said that she has had no energy since her Chemo. “Everything feels heavy”
I am not pandering here… Angela did an amazing job cleaning the kitchen after that disaster of flour and sugar frosting. Granted, it was her idea. I don’t think she knew how much harder it would be to do those projects on the mini-table we have in the apartment. In the meantime, I played a game with the kids. Summer and Aiden were patient enough to play a new game. Aiden is not a board game guy, so I could tell he was pushing his personal limits to suffer through the experience.
During the day we enjoyed the use of Target House highspeed internet by having a couple facetime chats with my folks and the extended family in Fairbury. Seeing Grandma Marie nearly had me misty. She is going through health problems and Cancer at the age of 91 and we have had little to no contact with her because of our adventure in Memphis with Summer. Communicating like this was a huge moment for all of us.
Tonight, we finished off the day with a viewing of “Spirited”. Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds doing a rework of a Christmas Carol on AppleTV. It was actually pretty good. We all had some good laughs and, that, with some Kroger pumpkin pie, seemed like a good way to end the night.
All in all, given the circumstances, I think we had a good day… As seems to be the case sometimes with Mothers and Daughters… They but heads. Tonight, Summer and Angela got frustrated with each other right before its time to beat curfew out of Target House. Summer wants to do her appointments with Nate tomorrow, not Mom and Dad. I believe this is what set off the kerfuffle. (A pleasant word for unpleasantness) I sometimes think that those two are harder on each other during arguments because they are both made of the same metal. Very tough stuff that is not damaged easily. So, they go at each other harder than we mortal humans would.
Regardless… We will reboot and reset tomorrow. This is Nate’s last full day with Summer till Christmastime. Aiden is on the docket to come back to Memphis and help Summer around Christmas break. I reminded Ang that she will not see Summer for at least 3 weeks after this trip. Lets tough this out
I will end it with this post from Facebook that I made today. A lot of people post what they are thankful for today. I don’t remember ever doing those kinds of posts in the past. I truly believe that we have been blessed with an uneventful and low-drama life until recently. It makes me realize that we took a lot for granted and probably overlooked opportunities to be thankful.