Monday, November 30, 2009

Full House

"Where will we all sit?"

Just two days before the question was "will there be light?".

While Thanksgiving dinner by candlelight might sound appealing, in reality one, in Chicago in 2009, needs light to prepare a Thanksgiving meal for 15 friends and family. Handy Jack thought that more than just light, we needed dining room appropriate light, and so, 36 hours before our first guest arrived, while I was deep into the culinary preparations, he set up a ladder in the middle of our lovely new dining room. That alone was enough to make me drop the turkey, but then he started working. Ceiling fan down, successfully. Chandelier down, successfully. Chandelier up in new dining room, holiday dinner disaster. There were sparks, there was shaking, there were countless phone calls to Bill the architect (who also had decided that the hours leading up to house stuffing dinner parties were just right for major home improvement efforts). Bill's wife told me she knew it was Jack on the phone when she heard her husband say things like "really? smoke? how many sparks? did you shake?". Most of my evening was spent in the basement, flipping the power on and off at the direction of my sister, via telephone from upstairs. Thus, my vision of what was going on above me was limited to Ashley's play by play "uhoh, fire!" and "Jack, JACK, did that burn?". From my post down below there was screaming "MY CHILDREN ARE ASLEEP IN THE NEXT ROOM FOR GOD'S SAKE!".

For five hours Jack labored on, up and down the ladder while I went up and down the stairs, nothing was cooked, save a few quick jolts to my husband, and at the end of the very long night the old place gave up, as did we. Our last effort resulted in no lights at all, a complete blackout, save the hall bath and the kitchen.

Don the electrician was able to come around one the next day. Jack cancelled his afternoon meeting, Ashley arrived to begin the cooking while I picked up last minute items, including the children from school. At home we found light, a beautiful chandelier hung in the dining room, and assurances from Don that Jack had done everything right, old wiring was to blame for our
day before Thanksgiving black out.

Add Don to my list this year, and a husband who tries, and friends who answer the phone late at night, and good friends and family who chose to spend their holidays with us. For all this I am thankful, and for the wonderful new dining room that did in fact fit fifteen.

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