Then on one trip across the yards, I noticed the wind had died. Kept going, picked up stuff left at one house and now needed in the other, and came back out. The stillness had acquired a directionality. On the next trip out, as I looked at the sky, the cloud cover had a distinct difference between that to the north and that to the south--color, density, etc. Stuck my head back inside and reported that, then zipped back out and across the yards to baste the ham again. While I was in that kitchen, which has a window and door to the north-slightly-west, a soft fist of wind hit window and door, and the leaves blown north, away from the house, by the previous wind were now picked up and tossed at the house. By the time I went back across the yards (maybe 15 minutes, at most) the temperature had dropped enough that I felt chilly in just a T-shirt. On subsequent trips, it was colder each time, until I gave up and put on a long-sleeved turtleneck.
We sat down to eat in a room no longer too warm, but cooled just to the comfortable point (and guests were arriving from the cold outdoors.)
Lots of eating and talking ensued, and didn't stop for hours (the eating had pauses, even gaps, and finally was down to desultory and intermittent nibbling by individuals, who could be found propped against a doorframe with a small plate of something---the talking had no pauses.)
The food guests brought was delicious. They said the food I cooked was delicious. This created the happy coincidence of happy cooks on all sides. Turkey, ham, dressing, gravy, green beans, salad, and various accouterments disappeared...then so did cake and pies. Lots of pies. A gracious plenty, as a friend of my mother's used to say, disappeared. And there was enough, in abundance, that I could have two slices of pumpkin pie for breakfast (it's a vegetable, she says virtuously.)
Today is clear, deep blue sky, chilly and breezy, and drop-dead gorgeous. Today is for packaging those leftovers destined for the freezer, and enjoying the ones destined for today's meals. (We like T-day leftovers.) Today is for resting (having worked our buns off Wednesday and Thursday--well worth it, but the bodies are stiff and sore.) Today is for being thankful all over again, for the friends that came and enjoyed themselves where we could share in their enjoyment