Wednesday: I drive down to Seattle to pick up my brother from UW. We arrive back in Bellingham safely and head over to my mom’s, where Mom and I make desserts (for her, French apple pie; for me, chocolate cheesecake). Mom puts her pies in the oven before realizing that she forgot to add vanilla, and later, as I’m measuring vanilla into my cheescake, the top of the bottle pops off and drops several tablespoons of vanilla into the batter. I test the batter; it tastes like alcohol. We throw it away and start over.
Thursday: I wake up with a pounding headache. Despite a shower and a cup of tea, I go back to bed and do not get up until 11, at which point I inform Mitch (from beneath several blankets, both cats and a satin eye pillow) that I don’t think I’ll be making it to the Rosenburg dinner at noon. He goes without me, but does bring our friend Manis, whose family lives in Florida, and Mitch makes jokes about Manis being my stand-in. They are well received.
By three o’clock, I finally manage to open my eyes, though I still haven’t made it successfully out of bed. Mitch and Manis return to collect me for my Mom’s Thanksgiving–I roll out of bed, put on a skirt and somehow make it out the door (feeling much, much better, though still not great). The house is full of guests and merriment, and it is a lovely evening, though one punctuated by naps on my part. What little I manage to eat of the food is delicious. We all go home full and sleepy.
Friday: The last dinner, at my Dad’s house, is wonderful. I make a puddle on my plate of all my food and eat it forkful by mushy forkful–after nearly two weeks of being sick, my appetite is finally back nearly to where it should be and everything tastes amazing. My brother plays Zelda in the family room after dinner and we watch him until we can’t stand it anymore. We decorate the Christmas tree. Dad tries to make five whiskey sours with a bottle of whiskey and one lemon, until my step-mom scrutinizes his recipe and decides that there has to be more to whiskey sours than that. As it turns out, there is. The result is tasty and festive, though I don’t think I ever actually finish mine.