Thursday, November 27, 2008

The burning chair and the human typhoon

This is the way I feel now that Thanksgiving dinner is behind me.

The day began long before dawn. The oven was on by 6:30, and the pies were in the oven by 7. By 8 the stuffing was done. By 9 I had tackled the insidious, the dreaded, the unholy downstairs bathroom.

At 10 I recklessly took a break and made it to Mass. On the way into the church I saw the Turkey Trot runners circling Niagara Square. I was not the only one having an exciting day! The priest ended the Mass by chanting the Te Deum. It is a powerful prayer that goes back to the 5th century and we were told it has been sung over the centuries at great moments of triumph, such as an ordination, a coronation, a canonization or -- I liked this -- a military victory.

The Te Deum is cousin to the Non Nobis Domine, the short prayer sung in "Henry V." Before the famous scene we just saw, you can hear Ken Branagh, as King Henry V, decreeing that the Te Deum and Non Nobis Domine shall both be sung now that the Battle of Agincourt is over and 10,000 Frenchmen lie dead.

The big victory of my Thanksgiving is that although it was complete chaos, it was fun. I loved it which was partly because I had a lot of help from my sisters, Katie and Margie, who was visiting from New Jersey, and my mom, and my brother-in-law David, who sharpened my knives.. yay!

We had the usual moments of drama culminating in when we burned a chair. I do not know exactly how it happened because mercifully I was in the other room drinking wine, but all I know is my 4-year-old nephew Georgie ground crayon into a chair and then someone tried to fix it and somehow in the process the chair burst into flames. All I could think of was "Bean," the part where Mr. Bean wrecked "Whistler's Mother." I am still laughing about it (the chair, and "Whistler's Mother").

Georgie is like this little typhoon. He runs around like an orangutan, on his hands and his feet, and as Howard put it, Georgie has transcended the limits of his body. His body cannot contain him. I will have to find a picture of him and post it. Better still, a video, to capture him in action.

My house survived him running amok! For that we sing the Te Deum.

We will sing another one when I finish my book on Leonard Pennario.

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