“November, can you believe it is already November again? It seems like just yesterday it was Christmas,” said Kelly, as he looked out the front window toward the tree line that was past its best color and beginning to lose its leaves. “Thanksgiving will be here before you know it.”
“Speaking of Thanksgiving …” said Genevieve, trailing off, waiting to make sure she kept her husband’s full attention. “Kelly, I am tired of always going to your family’s houses for Thanksgiving dinner. I have told your mother that I want her to stay with us this time, and we are going to have dinner here,” stated Genevieve.
“But what about Eileen?” asked Kelly; trying to imagine how the faithful woman could pull off cooking their dinner and her own family’s dinner, even with the help of her new daughter-in-law.
“Don’t you think it is about time that we stop treating Eileen like she is just another one of the hands?” she asked, standing up and dropping the magazine, she was reading, on the table next to her chair.
“Well, yes, you are right, she is more like family, but …” started Kelly, looking up at his wife, wishing that she wasn’t quite so tall, and right now so intimidating.
“But, nothing! Eileen, Betty Sue, and your mother are going to make the dinner. I am going to decorate the dining room and set the table. You and I are going to do the cleaning up. Bennie can help with both the cooking and the clean up. He has experience in the kitchen,” said Genevieve in a tone of voice that booked no argument.
“But what about Eileen’s own family?” asked Kelly bewildered at his wife’s sudden interest in domestic matters, and reminding himself not to forget again that Betty Sue was coming.
“Her family is going to eat here!” said Genevieve, triumphantly, her face breaking into a smile imagining having the two families together in celebration.
“How many people will that be?” asked Kelly glancing toward the door of the dining room.
“Well, there are four of us including Bennie, Eileen, her husband, the five boys, Wendy, your mother, and Betty Sue. So fourteen if your uncle declines,” said Genevieve with hope that he would. “If he comes with Carol and Toby it will be seventeen.”
“Will the dining room hold that many?” asked Kelly, wondering how they would split the party between rooms if there were too many. Eileen’s unmarried boys were too old to exile to a children’s table, and he knew better than to suggest splitting up by gender.
“Oh, the table is bigger than you think. There is a section, Eileen showed me, which goes in the middle. That is why those extra chairs are in the attic,” said Genevieve.
“Well, I am just going to leave it all up to you women folk. Let me know if my uncle gets bothersome. Oh, you didn’t say anything about Dana?” asked Kelly.
“I have talked to her. She said she couldn’t come. It seems she is going to be away on a mission trip to Lincoln, Nebraska, where she is going to try to convert a community of heathen Catholics to true Christianity,” responded Genevieve with a deep giggle, which almost became a guffaw.
“Marxism, Christianity, it is all the same with my sister. She always has to go way overboard on everything when she has a cause,” said Kelly, remembering his sister’s first foray into Christianity when he was a small boy, and how she yelled at him for putting a bible upright on the books shelf, when she got the idea in her head that the only way to handle a bible respectfully was to lay it flat in a place of honor.
“Yes, I have heard that she is chasing the chubby citizens of Misty around lately, extolling them to follow Herman Taller’s advice and drink three ounces of oil with every meal,” chuckled Genevieve, thinking how much weight could be lost by people running every time they saw her sister-in-law.
“I take it we don’t have to listen to her extolling the benefits of Metrecal anymore?” asked Kelly, wondering why his consistently thin sister was consumed with the idea of making the rest of the world slim.