Thanksgiving 2009 preparation: downsized feast


This is an unusual Thanksgiving for us. For the first time in our marriage, we’ll be eating the meal just as a family, without any guests. In the early years we traveled to family houses or had friends join us, and since we’ve been in Massachusetts Lisa’s parents have driven up. So why is this year different?

Well, the picture above might explain it. That’s the inside of our former guest bedroom as of about two weeks ago, looking at what used to be the outside wall of the house, and which is now the wall between the guest bedroom and our new master bedroom. The first floor guest bedroom has given up three feet of width to form a hallway that goes to the new master bedroom, so the decision was made to gut it so that it we could reconfigure it properly. Lots of fun historical archaeology as this room was taken apart, too, including the radiator pipe that is the remnant of the system we had removed in 2005 (you can see it in the wall in the foreground left of the picture) and the discovery that there were three layers of plaster in the room, each of which was backed by a cement based backer board. Our contractor didn’t swear us out after a day ripping this stuff out, but I’m sure he was swearing at the original owners the whole time. Plus, of course, the water damage on 60% of the original floor (the part that didn’t have holes from AC installation and former doorway locations) that necessitated replacing the entire floor in this section.

The good news is that there has been substantial progress since this picture was taken: the rooms have been fully insulated, blueboard and plaster have gone up, and as I speak tile contractors are doing the bathrooms while our project manager devotes personal attention to recreating window and door trim that match the existing trim in the house. I’ll try to get new picture up of this progress shortly.

But with no paint, no floors, and no working bathrooms, there was no way we could accommodate guests this year.

So we’re going to sit down and figure out how to streamline our normally, um, gargantuan feast. Menu? A twelve pound turkey, Brussels sprouts with bacon and garlic, sausage and bread stuffing, and (gasp) PURCHASED mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. We might buy the pies too. You know, put us in the middle of a house renovation project and our standards just start to slip…

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