Here's the Scoop: November 30, 2011

Cleaning up the turkey
Ah, there’s nothing like four days off to recharge one’s batteries. That’s the great thing about Thanksgiving — that one extra day that this particular holiday brings leaves plenty of time for…vacuuming!

Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Thanksgiving. The overindulging. The swearing off eating…only to start again with an entire new meal about three hours after dessert. It’s all good stuff.
Naturally, it’s always fun to see relatives and friends on holidays, too. When the “visiting” is done on one’s home turf, however, the “four days off” definition isn’t exactly accurate. In fact, by the time Sunday rolled around, I could barely move from the couch.

“I’m totally beat. Couldn’t get up if I wanted to,” I explained to my wife. “Would you mind bringing me a turkey sandwich? With lots of stuffing, please?”

Those words sprang forth from me on Sunday, but there was no need for me to ask. By the end of the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, my meal requirements were pretty standard. Except for the pie preferences. On Days 1&2, pecan and pumpkin pies topped the list. Day 3, started with pumpkin and ended with apple. Whipped cream was mandatory for all pie servings. Day 4 – well, that was when I wished I hadn’t eaten so much pie — so I’d still have some!

We’ll be staying home
But, back to the “company” topic. The nice thing about having guests — rather than being a guest — is there’s no travel involved. Plus, you get to hoard most of the leftovers (see above).
On the other hand, keeping the house in order before and after having lots of guests is pretty much a full-time job.

Wednesday involved a thorough top-to-bottom house cleaning — which looked great — until the cooking got into full swing on Thursday. After the major food preparation, the kitchen and dining room – and much of the living room — somehow needed some serious sprucing up. Not complaining here, just stating facts.

Then, the guests arrived. We generally have neat visitors. But still. Things happen. Thursday night is always a time for rest (and snacking). But Friday demanded a pretty good bout of neatening. This was especially necessary since more guests were scheduled on Saturday. By the time the cooking got going on Saturday, another bit of “touch-up” housekeeping was needed before Round Two of company began.

Who are you people?
The Saturday crew was much larger than the Thanksgiving guest list and the demographics were younger, for the most part. Since the actual holiday had passed, things were a bit looser. The party kicked up a few notches, to paraphrase Emeril. Vacuuming was definitely in the cards again. This task had to wait until Sunday. But, not too early.

After Sunday’s Quest to Restore Neatness, I was not sure which near-constant companion I needed a break from most — the turkey or the vacuum?

Naturally, as I slowly worked my way through my 14th meal involving turkey, I paused to reflect on the amount of work that had led to such an appetite.

“You did quite a bit of vacuuming,” my wife interjected, “but your real professional abilities were most obvious in the way you cleaned up the majority of those six pies.”
The comment sliced right through me.
— Brian Sweeney