This is going to be the best Thanksgiving in years! Maybe ever. I have never been so excited for a holiday before. However, it will only be spectacular if I don’t…
- Float away.
- Blow away.
- Overdose from inhaling noxious pine-scented fumes.
- Stub my toe on a protruding corner of the kitchen counter and, while falling to the ground in agony, choke on a pine nut husk lodged in my throat.
Scoff if you will and laugh if you must, but all of these scenarios are distinct possibilities. It all started last week when Tara asked me, during an otherwise innocent phone conversation, when I had last removed the knobs from my stove in order to clean behind them.
“Oh, those things come off?” I asked. Which pretty much answered her question.
I don’t even know how we got on the topic of housecleaning in the first place, but I was inspired by our talk. Or shamed? Can’t decide which. In any case, while I have always considered myself a neat freak – remember, I can’t even leave the house with dirty dishes in the sink lest I get hit by a bus and have people think I was a slob while alive (because apparently my reputation means everything to me, even when dead) – but there is a difference between “neat” and “clean,” I suppose. Which is why I not only scrubbed behind those oven knobs over the weekend, but found myself elbow deep in a bucket of Pine Sol and hot water this morning. On the plus side, my kitchen has never been cleaner. And it smells like a forest in here, even if I am a bit woozy from the fumes. Hey, at least I have some control over #3!
#1 and #2, on the other hand? Not so much. I awoke this morning to rain. Not such a big deal, right? This is the Pacific Northwest. It rains a lot here. And while that is true, typically our rain is light in nature, and sporadic. It’s an oft-recited statistic that places like New York City and Miami average more rainfall in a year than Portland. Our 37.5″ annual rainfall comes in the form of a lot of drizzle and mist, mixed in with what the locals call “sun breaks.” That is why this morning was different: it was raining raining. As in, raining. Not just cats and dogs, but rabbits and goats and chickens, too. Heavy rain that lasted for hours – nearly 2″ worth. That’s nearly 5% of our average annual rainfall, in one fell swoop. A deluge not necessarily of epic proportions, but enough to prompt flood advisories and close a few roads. The rain slackened off a bit this afternoon, but is coming back with a vengeance tonight and early Wednesday morning. As if that weren’t bad enough, we’ve got wind. Gusts to 40 mph, to be exact. Remember that scene in The Jerk where the crazed gunman opened the phone book to a random page and decided to put a few holes in Johnson, Navin R.? It’s like Mother Nature played a similar game with Portland today.
And then there’s #4. In what can best be described as one of those this-could-only-happen-to-Mark events, I did in fact stub my toe on a protruding corner of the (shiny, gleaming and pine-scented) kitchen counter shortly after snacking on a handful of pine nuts, which caused the aforementioned chain reaction (a sharp pain, a howl of agony, a dramatic fall to the living room floor, and a sudden choking fit thanks to a not-quite-swallowed pine nut husk that was tickling the back of my throat something fierce). Sure, it’s one of those things we can look back on and snicker over now, but at the time I thought I was a goner.
I’m telling you, it’ll be a small miracle if I make it to Thanksgiving in one piece.
And by the way, quit laughing! Have you ever stubbed your toe before?! That freakin’ hurts!!!
Anyway. Assuming that the worst is behind me – knock on wood and all that jazz – Thanksgiving will, in fact, be amazing. My brother was teasing me over the phone yesterday because I’d mentioned on Facebook that in a mere 47 hours I’d be meeting Tara at the airport. “Don’t you just love it when your countdown switches from days to hours?” he asked, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I already know I’ll be landing in Vegas to see Tara in 796 hours, but that’s irrelevant. I simply reminded him that I haven’t had anybody special to share the holidays with in years, not including my kids and parents, of course. They’re wonderful and everything, but I can’t spend hours kissing them on the lips, you know? After about ten minutes that novelty wears off.
I kid, I kid.
The point is, it’s going to be a great holiday because Tara will be here. For five glorious nights. So yeah, it’s different this year in ways I wouldn’t have imagined were possible more than a few months ago. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. This year, it’ll be even better.
Provided I survive that long…