There’s a noontime quietness that permeated the university that I could only relate to the first days of moving in. You know, those privileged days where you are guaranteed a few days of respite before the thousand other students come thundering in with their giant TV’s and reclining couches.
No one else was in the room, and I allowed the doors to be as wide open as possible, to re-arrange the couches post-Star Wars, pizza, Christmas-oreos-and-milk marathon that went on the night before. I let loose the curtains and pranced around once or twice whilst brushing my teeth. At 4pm, I’ll be heading to my Boston-family home.
To see grandpa and grandma, be greeted by the energetic soul of one Rosie, six and three quarters, beloved uncle and auntie opening up their home…it’s a treat, isn’t it? As a wandering soul, one of sixty exchange students, you don’t get to expect your share of celebrating an authentic Thanksgiving with your local family. But soon the pots were bubbling, potatoes all washed and boiling, Turkey peppered and salted and you get to sit with grandma while you prepare the green beans. You sneak in a bacon or two in-between but no worries, nobody will ever know.
Grandpa tells jokes, little Rosie is the centre of attention and we love every Irish step dance performance she makes certain we all get to savour. Pumpkin pies (better homemade), fresh rolls, brussel sprouts for the first time and it was delish, and great company with Boston accents or Albuquerque fresh.
There was no apocalyptic finish. Only a steady of hum of you go sit down there, you’ve done enough for the day, whilst the other bees buzz around cleanin’ cleanin’. And it does not just end! You get to drive to quirky little towns and be told stories of something magical and fancy, tiramisu as you walk cobbled paths admiring its old age, you get to come home and fry some leftover Turkey and rice pilaf for dinner as you read your friends’ updates about their own little ventures. Oh, and you get to watch Inside Out and laugh as holly goes jolly because you’re fond of its silliness.
No sooner will you realise the break’s coming end, the work vying for your attention. Finals finals, one whispers, end of the semester, you hate to admit. But not right now. No, no one could think of it right now.
I am thankful, beyond grateful for what was, what could have been, for what is, the now. The family, the love, the joy, the gathering. And turkey. Definitely the turkey.
Don’t skip the cranberry sauce!