Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Last evening, while my daughters and I were quietly eating dinner, we heard the kitchen door opening. I knew that my husband was out of town, so I couldn't imagine who would be coming into our house. I'd read in the newspaper that a house in a neighboring town had been broken into a few weeks ago while the owners were at home and asleep. Apparently, while their house was being ransacked, the pour souls were held at gunpoint for hours. Hearing my kitchen door squeak as it was opened last evening immediately made my heart race. Did I forget to close the garage door? What next? Who could be there?

Just then my son strolled in! Both Melissa and Caroline simultaneously darted from their chairs while shouting "PATRICK!" upon seeing him walk through the door and into the kitchen. Meanwhile, like a domino effect, the girls' quick actions awakened our cat, Ritchie, who was previously sound asleep on the kitchen rug. Anyone who has a cat knows what typically happens at this point.

Notably frightened by this intrusion and with pupils immediately dilated, Ritchie jumped to his feet, arching his back in a lame attempt to defend himself. The tiny hairs on his tail flared and bristled outwardly so that his tail appeared to be more than twice its normal size! I don't think I've ever seen him look more irritated and annoyed! The kids found the cat's expression and appearance so hilarious that the sight of him just added to the excitement and surprise of seeing Patrick! Laughter filled the kitchen, followed by hugs, one at a time, as we were all so eager to embrace my son, who wasn't supposed to come home from college until tonight. He'd found an earlier ride home, and he wanted to surprise us.

I just love surprises, and this one was one of the best ones I've had in a long time. Upon waking this morning, I couldn't help but think that when I see Patrick at lunchtime today (since he'll likely sleep in until noon), I have so much to be thankful for. I know that the story of the cat and his funny reaction to our outburst upon seeing Patrick arrive expectantly last evening will continue to flavor many more Thanksgiving recollections over the years. I can hear it now from one of my kids, "Remember a few years ago when Patrick came home early and surprised us, and the cat went crazy, and ..."

And I can see them all smiling.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Hopesrising said...

Happy Thanksgiving Karen..Now he is home I am sure your holiday is complete!!

Daria said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you too! In Canada we have Thanksgiving in October.

Debby said...

Oh, isn't it great to have them all home. We had four out of the five, and really, really, it was such a wonderful time! I felt so blessed that I wanted to burst into tears a couple of times.