As we laid in bed half falling asleep catching up on the new series Black List, the power flickered on and off. We had made it through the eve of Thanksgiving with power unlike other areas in Maine. Heaviness sank into our lids and we fell asleep knowing that the next day would be a challenge serving twelve people at the farm but we would somehow manage. Snow had captured our house and barn and created more of a winter wonderland than an bountiful harvest effect. I rolled out of bed and threw on a sweatshirt and zipped it up. Kyle had gotten up somewhere after three in the morning to let Jack out cat outside. My first thought was to call my Mom in Kittery to see if she had power. It was hard to believe that we had lost power last year and had to drive the turkey midstream to her oven and then drive it back. As I talked over our game plan with her on the phone I packed our dinner ingredients into two shopping bags and asked Kyle to give me a ride over knowing my Volvo wouldn’t make it up the snow covered driveway.
My mom met us in her driveway as she cleaned off her own car. She had plans in Peterborough with my oldest sister and her family. We laughed at how the turkey run to Kittery was becoming a tradition. Kyle kissed us goodbye and went back to the farm to get things in order for the day and to bring his children to their mom’s for the holiday. My mom’s home looks out onto the Piscataqua river and as we prepped the turkey and made the sausage stuffing with apples and walnuts, we looked onto the churning waters as the snow continued to fall and the tide rose higher and higher. Mom stayed by my side, cleaning up as we went and showing me the techniques of cooking he mom had showed her when she was younger. We chopped the onions, celery, apples, and walnuts while we sauteed the sausage and boiled the water for the stuffing. The turkey had thawed and only spit out minimal juices onto me as we removed the gizzards and plastic connectors. Hours passed quickly and after what seemed like minutes she kissed me goodbye and wished me good luck with our own dinner on the farm and closed the door behind her.
I settled back into the quiet space alone and in wonder of the way in which the morning had unfolded. Anna texted me that they were on their way and would be dropped off at Grams, Kyle knocked and then came in and kissed me as he looked out onto the water, and the Harvells sent us a message that they would arrive sometime after one. The scene had played out like a sitcom or one of our favorite holiday movies and I loved every minute of it. Our family friends, The Darlings, texted and asked if they could do anything to help. I replied asking if it would be okay if we needed to push dinner back a half hour or so. They were without power as well and were nestled into the charming mountain home playing in the snow with their boys and cooking their contributions for our dinner on their gas stove.
By the time dinner was cooked and ready to transport back to South Berwick, Aaron had joined us to escape the power outage and seven of us were celebrating the day of thanks in my moms riverside home with the geese that swam by in the strong currents. We created an assembly line of sorts as we pulled the casserole dishes out of the oven filled with the traditional fixings of mashed potatoes, stuffing, squash and green beans followed by the twenty pound turkey that had popped sometime ago. We managed to squeeze into two cars and get all the food back to the farm safely and even still warm. The Darlings arrived close behind and as the sun had already set we unloaded the food and set it up as best that we could in the candlelight of numerous votives spread throughout the kitchen and living room. We sat and gave thanks with our friends and family and forced ourselves to share in all the amazing desserts that presented themselves after dinner was cleared. The kids ran through the downstairs playing a pirate game and we listened to Aaron as he strummed his guitar in the background. Just as we were saying goodbyes and cleaning up the leftovers to place in containers and then outside in the snow the power came back on and the warm holiday glow of the tapers was replaced with the constant stream of illumination from the electricity that had so timely returned. We’re sure this will become one of our most memorable Thanksgiving dinner for years to come.