I broke my sugar fast to enjoy Jennie Taggart Wandfluh’s apple caramel pie yesterday and have no regrets. I followed that slice of heaven with a serving of Caitlin Taggart Perkins’ fluffy pumpkin custard pie and cajoled my son into deploying the Reddi-Whip to adorn each plateful of wonderfulness.
I did not eat meat or meat-gravy, but did consume a small share of gluten. Don’t mention the rest: two servings of cranberries; several scoops of roasted veggies; mashed potatoes with butter; my oh my. My stomach has not yet signaled readiness for more.
But none of that explains why I am full.
Standing in Katrina’s entryway last evening, my coat buttoned, my hat squarely plunged down onto the crown of my grey-blonde curls, I felt a wave of affection flow around me. I’ve been sharing holiday meals with the Taggarts for twenty-one years. Though several years passed when the scheduling and travel inhibited a full-scale sit-down, every year we’ve shared at least one collected celebration.
I cannot explain how it feels to be with people who accept everything about me. This family has trusted me with their children, taken me to the emergency room, stood with me through glory, brought me their grief. The street runs in both directions — neither family giving more than the other, neither receiving less.
Yesterday, Jennie’s children called me Auntie Corinne and hugged me so many times that I staggered under the weight of their joy. Benton, the oldest of those three Wandfluhs, carried my cell phone around and took photos of everyone present so I could have the memories. Then he and I planned a piano recital at my house, when he reaches the end of the lesson book, when he feels he can do the last song, on the last page, and has prepared himself for performance.
Nora turned cartwheels in her grandmother’s living room.
Gavin told a long story about the restaurant which he intends to open when he has “enough ingredients and money”. Maybe right after he finishes kindergarten.
I scanned the news today about “Black Friday”. Not my cup of tea. I perused the recipes for leftover turkey. Nyet. Then I scrolled through the Facebook entries about my friends’ Thanksgiving celebrations. Blue-jean clad teens crowd on couches with their parents. Folding chairs stand at card tables covered with plastic table-cloths to make room for more. Generations group together in warm homes — arms circled, faces beaming.
I realized, suddenly, why I still feel satisfied fifteen hours after yesterday’s scrumptious meal.
Love fills me.