Title: Thanksgiving in Ellijay
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Beta: Thank you, Janet
Excuse: It was the cornbread what done it!
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Thanksgiving in Ellijay
Thanksgiving this year was incredibly awkward. Big holidays with extended family all in one place is always a breeding ground for potential disaster, because of all the stress. But when there are aliens there, and you're dealing with Ellijay, Georgia, that makes for an even more volatile cocktail of possibilities. Ever since flitters made ground roads obsolete, the kudzu went crazy up here and took over, and the town is even more isolated. Even though you can fly to Mars in a few days now, they...don't.
It was really my grandmother's fault--Margery McCoy. A wonderful, loving woman, really. But old-fashioned and stuck-in-her-ways as they come. Just look at her name! Margery--the very essence of the simple South. I don't even think they cook with that spice any more, for God's sakes.
Maybe it's a little bit Dad's fault too, for not reminding her about Vulcans being vegetarians. Well, the thing is, I think he did, but maybe he should have done it more. He knows how Granny is. Then again, it gets annoying to have to constantly cater to her faults...
I sound just awful, don't I? I love my family. Everybody needs to vent every once in a while, though, right?
Maybe if we hadn't been so busy showing Spock around, Dad and I, we'd have noticed how hard Granny was working on Thanksgiving dinner--and what she was putting into it. But we were both really excited. I was in a perky mood because I was finally getting to get to know Spock a little better, and Dad was 'bout ready to bust out of his skin with pride at these mountains.
We took the flitter over to Fort Mountain and hiked around a bit. Nobody knows who built the wall at the top--there's a legend floating around about some Welsh prince who landed before Columbus, but that doesn't make much sense to me. It was probably Native Americans. But there's something neat about not knowing for sure. Spock scientifically poked around a bit as if he was going to discover it all himself, before we dragged him away to look at the falcons winging around over the valley nearby. Dad looked smug. He likes to make Spock calm down. It's like getting two gumballs out of the machine when you only put in for one, with him.
We had enough time to pop over to look at Amicalola Falls before heading back to Granny's house for dinner. It's not as dramatic as anything in Africa or out West, but it's ours and it's lush and happy and the little birch-lined stream where you can wash your feet after a hike is still flowing there at the top.
Meanwhile, Granny was hard at work, busily cooking up a squash casserole and a mess of greens and cornbread and I can't remember what else--and the turkey. Her famous, pride-of-the-family Thanksgiving turkey, covered with a special blend of spices that supposedly had been kept secret and passed down since the first World War. "I gotta teach you how to do this, Joanie, baby doll," she'd mentioned to me that morning, as I was getting ready to leave the house. Never mind that "Joanie, baby doll" takes after her Germanic mother and towers over her paternal grandmother at five-eleven.
"Write it down," I smiled at her. But she doesn't want to--superstitious, I think.
So basically, while we were off cavorting like a family, Granny was slaving away in the kitchen cooking--and mostly to impress Spock, I think. After all, she knew the two of us had confidence in her for years. But Spock had been around for so short a time and came to Earth so seldom, and Georgia even less. She wanted to wipe him away, knock his socks off, and finally get a smile to peek out of that odd stone face.
'Course, Dad could have told her food's not what does it, but I'm not even supposed to know that. I've got eyes, though, and I don't hike nearly as slowly behind them as they seemed to think.
Anyway, so there was dinner, waiting for us on the table when we came back, and guess what. Nearly every dish had meat in it. The greens were flavored with bacon fat, the turkey was, well, *turkey*--you get the idea. And so naturally, Spock didn't say anything, but filled up on cornbread. It was good cornbread, by the way, and he seemed to be enjoying himself (or at least his version thereof).
But Granny--well, once she finally remembered about Vulcans not eating meat she was to embarrassed to blame herself, not that that makes any sense, and decided to take it all out on Dad after dinner. Suddenly everything in the world was wrong with Spock. You'd think in a time where two men walking around hand in hand in rural Georgia, an old woman wouldn't care about one of her houseguests eating only cornbread on Thanksgiving. But no, this is Ellijay...and there's always got to be something.