301) Processed Turkey & T-day Celebrations

November 29, 2008

El Milagro:
Saturday after T-day holiday and I'm back on my regular Saturday schedule, up to 79 kgs, or 173.8 pounds --- proving that I did like all that food. The thing about food these days however, is that I regularly get naucious and upset stomach feeling if I eat too much. I don't throw up... but I do usually have to lie down and stay very still, while thinking things like, "Why did I eat the whole thing?" And, the difficult part is that the 'whole thing' is much less quantity than it used to be BKD.

Cari the Tech called last night and asked if I want to come in at 6 this morning or at 10:30. HUM? I say... 10:30. Then an hour or so later Rosie the Tech calls and says, "not 10:30 but 11:30: the starters of the second shift are at 10:30 and if we slip you in at the beginning of their shift they'll complain..." I agree: "I don't want to ruffle those starters' feathers..." I'll come in at the end of their seatings.

So here I a
m at 11:30, seated and poked by Dee the Tech... while Lizzie, Shayna and the cousins are geocaching with Larry. I woulda loved going too, but this time the schedule just didn't work out. Instead, here I am with all my dialy-friends, laying here in phlebotomizing repose... watching our TV's, sleeping, or just laying there looking around... taking in the sights of dialyland. I notice there are a few Thanksgiving visitors here today.

Processing Thanksgiving: Today is my quiet opportunity to review the holiday and ponder the meaning of the holiday with my family and to watch MythBusters as a break from my extemporaneous diatribe. These days I find that I no longer really care as much about my slips of the tongue, my rantings and ravings, or my sometimes careless and brainless mis-speaks. I am 61 and feeling a bit cantankerous and obstinate. I am slipping into drivel... extemporaneously speaking...

Okay. So, anyway...the Thanksgiving holiday has historically been, for me, that time of the year when I not only look at what I have to be thankful for, but also it seems to be a time when I recognize my misgivings and gripes (kinda like a secular Yom Kippur) bubbling to the surface and many years I have found myself in a corner of my house purging myself in stream of consciousness journaling... which does seem to help me get centered.

Okay. So, anyway... MythBusters has the team driving around on ice backwards to see if front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, or four-wheel drive gets more traction in reverse (a myth busted). We had our traditional Thanksgiving Day Celebration at Larry's house amid Dallas Cowboys and as a special treat after dinner, UT smearing A&M! All three of the kids came with us this year and that was grand... even with John & Katie mugging for all their photos. The food was simply delicious and I even ate Liz's baked curried sweet potatoes! We brought my own leached red potatoes so I could enjoy the giblet gravy and mostly I was able to eat a little of everything. The kids were upstairs wreaking havoc on Arron's room while we adults chatted, puzzle-worked (not me, of course), and visited downstairs. I got to cut the giblets, which made me feel like I did something constructive. It was a heartwarming dinner and gave me the wonderful sense of "family" I cherish. And desert was famous: David decided he loves pumpkin pie! With all the food stuffing my tummy, I started to feel like laying down, so we came home before the UT game was over (but satisfied that A&M was dust).

On Friday the traditions continued with Liz and her mom going shopping for lox, bagels and all the fixin's for our Nowicki Friday Family
Brunch... where my dad and my Aunt Irene (from Tucson) drive up from San Antonio for a festive visit that is our fall family get-together every year. We were all busy straightening up the house in the morning; Johnny getting his room together, Katie and Shayna helping set tables and pick up the downstairs... and Katie claiming "I'm starving... when are they gonna get here?" and actually they were later than their usual 30 minute early arrival. We finally saw my dad walking slowly up the driveway with a bunch of flowers for Lizzie, in his Stetson and with his sister following him with a box of Russell Stover's. There arrival was marked by the hugs, busses, and handshakes of relatives long apart, smiles all around, and Grandpa John's traditional giving of his homemade Pomegranate jelly to Shayna, who rushes off to hide it for consumption later and Grandma Joan, who is gracious in her thank yous. And of course, Katie wants to know, "Where's mine?" and grandpa assures her she'll get hers tomorrow.

Everyone sits around expecta
ntly until the food is on the table and we all sit down to gorge ourselves on the delicacies before us: lox, herring in sour cream, sliced roast beef, fresh bagels, cucumber salad, fancy herb bree, tinturn from Wales, and fresh strawberries, pineapple, and grapes and pies for desert: Liz's perfect blueberry pie (discovery of the day: Johnny doesn't like blueberry pie!) and Jen's apple-cranberry pie...Then, of course, its time for the family pictures... Joan and Liz; Irene and kids, the Three Johns, etc. Although Liz and Joan both said this was the best brunch ever, I still have anxiety and unease at these things. I am always hpyer-aware of myself evaluating every little thing Irene and my dad do and say: feeling sensitive and distant (my cancer crab hiding in it's shell, so-to-speak). At one point Katie asked my dad, "Was dad weird as a kid?" and my dad perked up quickly from his plate to affirm that: "Oh yeah. He was weird alright!" and I just couldn't get the humor of it, if there was humor there. There probably was and yet I was in my grouchiness and couldn't find it. I generally felt like I was hovering around the sidelines trying to fit in but also aware that the visit was really for the old folks to see the young folks and for the Austin Nowicki's to entertain the last generation as best we could. Clearly Liz is more objective than I in evaluating these celebrations.

At the end of it all, the old folks headed out amidst a darkening rain sky and Liz and Joan went shopping and Katie went to
her mom's and I relaxed and watched John and Shayna zip back and forth with John on his skateboard hitching a ride behind his little sister. All is well and I am thankful ...for all the blessings already are!

Back to the Present @ El Milagro: MythBusters is over, and my slipping into self-absorbing hallucinatory stream of consciousness is now flickering like an old 16 mm film snapping and crackling to a stop on an old Bell & Howell... I end by flipping over to Meg Ryan and Kevin Klein in French Kiss and finishing my time restfully until James the Nurse comes by and surprises me by telling my time is up. So it goes... and I remember as I step out into the drizzly night,

In at 79 and out at 75.4 kgs.


Anonymous said...

Jack: If I'm ever in Austin can I
come to your Friday after Thankgiving brunch? I salivate just
reading about it, although I am a
herring in wine sauce guy. Steve

Jack Nowicki said...

Steve ~ sure you can come. The more the merrier! Of course, you have to be able to sit through family generational friction, boring updates on everyone's foibles, and lots of hugs from old aunts from Tucson. And, BTW: bring your own herring and wines sauce. JN