01 December 2011

Thanksgiving and The Flu. And Pink Eye.

Thanksgiving really is my favorite holiday. Such a simple premise - gratitude! - yet one so difficult to master throughout the rest of the year. I love a day meant to emphasize it. (And I love that we do so with food, although, this year, I didn't have the extra hands to snap photos of my Fair Share Farm vegetables or my delicious Badseed goods or that fennel and leek au gratin dish I made two years ago which is ugly in photos anyway, but that was just as tasty as I remembered it being).

Christy and her family used their hand prints for this adorable toilet paper roll pilgrim turkey

This year I geared up for Thanksgiving by watching a couple of holiday-themed shows on the Food Network at my parents house the week before. On those shows, chefs with poise and fervor made masterpieces in record time and wowed judges with their ability to be both innovative and traditional. Fast forward a week and my own version is a little more crazed. I spent Thanksgiving day in my kitchen making a pie completely from scratch (having never done so before!) as well as making ALL the vegetables for our meal (beets, potatoes, fennel, chard, salad). Sergio spent the day getting the flu. Which left him less able to help out than I had expected. Which left me performing the gymnastic stunts required to accommodate a 14 month old underfoot who is busying herself with pots and pans on the floor near her mama while her daddy fever-sleeps unexpectedly in the next room. How come they never show that on the Food Network?

"Primitos de Rayas" - Nina the witch princess (with striped leggings), Emilio the pirate, and Julia the coincidentally, impromptu pirate. Costumes at Thanksgiving: a new tradition? 

Poor Sergio. He made it through our decidedly delicious meal at Christy and Armando's that night; we all had a great time, even him with his fever. The next morning he went to urgent care and came home with a flu diagnosis and something to help with the pain. Then he slept for the next 48 hours. He missed the "recalentado" at Christy's on Friday (it's worth it to spend so much time in the kitchen cooking if the food you make lasts two days!), he missed the lighting of the mayor's Christmas tree at Crown Center, and he was about to miss small business Saturday when, late in the day, he mustered enough strength to go out and buy a few records. Then he came and slept for another day.

Julia and Mommy, missing Daddy, at the Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony

By Sunday night he was starting to come out of it. And I was just showing my first signs. I was lucky though. The flu that knocked him flat on his back and sent him down for the count, just sent me stumbling. I was feverish and very tired, but all in all it only lasted a couple of days. (His lasted 5.) I was brazenly bidding the defeated flu "good-bye" and "good riddance" on Tuesday night - perhaps too brazenly, reveling in my victory. Because I woke up Wednesday morning with flu-induced pink eye. Spoke too soon I guess.

We are finally - just today - feeling like we're getting back to normal (although I won't really feel "normal" until my eye clears up and I can put my contacts back in). We're both back at work and we're going about our business and even though it felt like a big wallop, us both being sick like that, it occurs to me that a couple of cases of flu and a spot of conjunctivitis are actually wonderful problems to have in the grand scheme of things. And what's more? Julia has managed to avoid it all (knock on wood).

a happy Thanksgiving indeed

We are fully aware of how fortunate we are and I for one feel very, very grateful.

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