I truly enjoy our family get-togethers. Your family really understands you. They often finish your sentences before you have a chance to just because they are on the same wave length. We can look at each other without saying a word, laugh hysterically and know exactly why something was so incredibly funny!
Last year both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner were at my house. This year Thanksgiving was at my parents house. This was their very first big holiday dinner at their new house. We planned on leaving early in the morning. Due to being so excited the night before it took several hours for me to fall asleep. This lead to a late start for us.
I was also worried about a phone call I received that night from my sister. “Mom is a bit upset with you. She wants to know why everyone is calling you to coordinate HER Thanksgiving dinner.” It never occurred to me WHY? Just as I never think to ask Why when just about everyone in the family asks me what to get so and so for their birthday or Christmas? Or when anyone wants to know when so and so’s birthday is they always call me. Well, I pretty much call everyone when there is a birthday in the family to make sure they at least call to give Birthday wishes. Anyway, I think everyone was calling me to see when me and the children would arrive and to make sure we were not all bringing the same dishes.
Oldest Daughter decided it would be fun to have a non traditional Thanksgiving with Dad. His version of Thanksgiving was eating crab legs at a Chinese buffet and going out to watch a movie. My children are old enough to decide which parent they would like to spend the holiday with and I will not pressure them one way or the other. I do miss them terribly when they are not around but I do realize I am not their only parent.
Since no one would be at home to let the dog out when he need out, we took him along with us…on a long, long road trip. Before heading out on our road trip we had to take out the long seat in the very back of the van and one seat in the middle row. This was to insure we had plenty of room for the organ Grandma and Grandpa were giving us. Plus Pups dog cage, two large pumpkins for Grandma’s pumpkin bread and veggie soup and the large cooler with wheels for the food we were bringing.
Due to the missing seats the pumpkins, dog cage and cooler started rolling around the back of the van. Pup was so afraid one of those large pumpkins was going to roll right over him! He jumped up in the passenger seat right in ManSon’s lap. I had to pull over, put the pumpkins in the dog cage and buckle the handle of the rolling cooler to Snow Whites seat. Pup still cried for the first half hour. He eventually settled down by curling up in my extra large purse between the two front seats.
The day before I told my sister we would arrive at our parents house in the morning. We arrived around 1pm. Why the urgency to arrive early in the morning? Well, my sister was visiting our parents since the previous Saturday. Yes, almost a full week of visiting before Thanksgiving Day. It does not matter how much you love the people you are visiting, there comes a time when enough is maybe too much. A thoughtful parent can cover all the ways you should improve your life in one afternoon but imagine all the ways they can make up in a week. My little sister, Auntie D, is just over 30 years old and pretty much has her whole life together. The one thing she wants to improve in her life is her job. She has yet to find the perfect job. She has a job which pays the mortgage, all of her bills and allows her some financial and personal freedom. Auntie D is looking for a job which better suits her experience and educational background. What she has to improve upon is beyond me.
My older brother, Uncle L, knows what he is doing in life and has many things he wants to work on. Thus his visit started the night before Thanksgiving and will end with his departure Saturday evening. See with age does come wisdom.
As soon as we arrived there was just barely enough time to hug my parents and visit the bathroom before Auntie D was hustling me out the front door. She insisted that we take our dogs, Bear and Pup, for a much need walk.
While we were on our walk with Snow White and our dogs, ManSon unloaded the cooler and put the food away in the down stairs refrigerator. I brought a large ham which was the same size as the large turkey. My super pasta salad that had so many veggies you could almost see the pasta. Well, what can I say. I got a bit carried away with the chopping of veggies with my giant, super sharp knives. Along with these two items I also brought two pumpkin pies since our family is really big on pumpkin pies. Seriously, ManSon alone could eat a whole pie himself.
Soon we were all sitting in the living room, Grandpa, Grandma, Auntie D, Uncle L, Snow White, ManSon and myself while Bear and Pup got acquainted. We caught up on what everyone has been up to last week or so. We touched a little on politics but mostly talked about personal items. Everyone asked about Oldest Daughter and I explained she was spending the holiday with Dad. Sad sighs were released from everyone in the room but they understood.
My personal stuff was derived from a few official letters I received in the mail recently. One was to inform me of a “fee” which sounds more like a fine for receiving child support. The other letter was from the Court House via the school telling me I better sign Snow White up for the program for Handicapped Children. At first I laughed at the letter thinking they must have confused her with someone else. She is not handicapped in any way shape or form (Thanking God). I will get into these two letters in another post. I wont go into anyone else’s “personal stuff” as it is their “stuff” and so minimal it would boar you to tears.
A few minutes later Uncle C called to say they were just about to leave his house. This was about the time we sort of expected them to be just around the corner. Who am I to complain? I arrived hours later than expected myself.
When they arrived hugs and kisses were given all around then another jaunt around the neighborhood with the dogs. Snow White loved showing off HER dog to her cousins. Everyone in our family loves dogs but it wasn’t like this was the first time her cousins had met Bear and Pup. Uncle C teased Snow White by saying “Since you have our Bunny visiting you why don’t I take your dog for awhile?” She persisted that there was no way in this world he was going to have HER dog. “Come on. I will give you a whole quarter. No? Ok how about 50 cents? 50 cents is a lot of money! I will give you 50 cents for him.” Uncle C was not about to take her dog but he could not resist teasing her about it. We all laughed at his futile attempts and her reaction to each proposal.
As everyone calmed down and sat in the living room for another round of catching up Grandpa asked me take a look at his computer. Apparently his Wiifi was not working properly. My Dad has had a computer for the last 10 years or so and for that I applaud him. Most of his generation, friends, consider them too complicated or they just do not want to bother with them. My Dad sees the advantages of using a computer but does not have all the training required to use his highly techno loaded computer to the fullest. For this he relies on me. Each time I visit we have a mini computer class to help him use his fully loaded computer system. When I say fully loaded I mean FULLY LOADED! He has EVERY gadget, gizmo in the latest and greatest technologic software and hardware. He puts the rest of us to shame.
As soon as the rest of the family hears I am working to fix his Wiifi lap tops start to appear out of thin air! Apparently many of my family members want to keep in touch with the world wide web even on Thanksgiving Day. If I had not been on a family computer tech call I would have posted to my blog.
During a computer class intermission it was time to walk the dogs again. Snow White, my nieces, Auntie D, Bear, Pup and I walked the dogs around the neighborhood. We ran, laughed and all carried on like children. Then something stopped us dead in our tracks. Snow White was several yards ahead of us. We saw a pack of DEER running! In the first second we were all excited about seeing the deer. The next second I was RUNNING towards Snow White YELLING!! It wasn’t excitement that made me yell! It was pure FEAR! “SNOW WHITE!! SNOW WHITE! LOOK! LOOK! LOOK OUT!!”
Thank goodness she was walking Pup. He spotted the deer before Snow White saw them and he barked as loud as a little dog could. The deer veered away from her and gracefully traipsed across the street in front of her. Auntie D, our nieces and I finally caught up with Snow White. Auntie D was trying to take pictures as she ran but they came out a little blurry. As the deer skipped across the street we counted them….8 reindeer! “Snow White, how many reindeer pull Santa’s sleigh?” “EIGHT! MOMMY THERE WERE EIGHT!! Mommy! Santa‘s reindeer are practicing at Grandma‘s house!!” Moments like these are truly priceless.
Well, it was time for everyone to start gathering around for the feast. My sister-in-law, Aunt C, brought green beans and new potatoes in her extra large crock pot, home made sweets -snickers pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate cookies, rice crispy treats and home-made-melt-in-your-mouth-make-you-drool macaroni and cheese. Grandma’s turkey looked too good to eat! She also made pork beans with brown sugar and mustard spice, rolls and croissants and I cannot remember what else. I was later told that Auntie D made the mashed potatoes which were whipped creamy and so delicious. After dinner she told us they came from a BOX! I have tried instant mashed potatoes before but they were nothing like this. Her mashed potatoes tasted wonderful! When everyone was saying their goodbyes later you might have caught me licking the spoon and scraping the bowl. he.he.he.
When we were figuring out who was sitting where my youngest niece, 11 yrs old, was standing at the formal dinning table. When I said “All of you girls and ManSon will be eating at the kitchen table” which was just a few feet away. She jokingly said “Oh no! Not again! Us at the kiddie table?” We both laughed but apparently it was not funny to my sister-in-law, Aunt C. I saw her rush over to my brother, Uncle C, and heard her say “We need to talk. OUR family must eat together” In the end the kiddie table consisted of Auntie C, Uncle C, my nieces and Snow White. Since Aunt C and Uncle C were going to eat at the kiddie table that freed up some room at the formal dinning table for ManSon.
It really is no big deal who sits where but I thought it a bit odd that Aunt C made it a point that she and Uncle C sit at the same table with their girls. The girls would have been just fine at the table without their parents. The whole point of setting up the tables dividing the adults and the grandchildren was for conversation. Mind you ManSon is a great deal older than my nieces and Snow White but he would have carried on a great conversation with all and kept it going. Most importantly he could be my spy to find out what is on their Christmas lists.
When the turkey was carved Grandpa asked “Who wants a drumstick?” Snow White is all about the drumstick weather it is turkey or chicken so she held nothing back when she shouted out “ME! ME! I want a drumstick!” As soon as she had possession of that drumstick everyone wanted to snap a shot of the youngest family member with a giant drumstick. “Hold it right there…just a little closer to your mouth…almost there….one more for me..and me too.” Snow White was a trooper in the beginning but then she said “Can I eat it yet!”
During our feast there were laughs all around and many funny photos taken. One photo was of Auntie D and Uncle L dulling with carving fork and knife. One of Auntie D looking like she was about to poke me with carving fork and Grandma in the background looking like she was tisk tisking the idea.
We have many, many years of formal family photos over the years. We still pose for these but something happened years ago when I was pregnant with Snow White. Our Dad said he has everything he has ever wanted so from now on asked that his Christmas gift be a photo of all of us. That year we had a group photo session for just his children. We wanted to include our sister-in-law but she said she was happier shopping. Anyway, the photo shoot went well and you know when we get together there is just too much fun! While the photographer loaded up the camera for the next set of photos we joked around with different poses of us attacking each other. The photographer laughed with us and said she would gladly take a photo of us doing just that if we really wanted one. In unison we agreed we would really want one photo of us joking around. To this day that is one of our favorite photos of each other.
Keeping in the new tradition of our silliness we took a silly photo of us last Christmas. This photo came back to us in the shape of a surprise Thanksgiving envelope for each of us…full of money from Uncle L. We all thanked Uncle L for the early Christmas presents! Auntie D was not in the photo since she took it last year nor was Aunt C. Well, they were trying to work out their issues with the timers on their cameras and could not manage to get in the photo in time. During which I said “Show us your silly!” I got the first photo then it was a game and I was in the photo Auntie D took which was the best of them all!
Since Grandma was too ill to come to Christmas at my house last year and Auntie D and Aunt C were trying to take the photos none of them were in our silly photo last year. This year we had everyone minus Oldest Daughter. Auntie D had perfected her camera timer and this year we did another silly picture.
Auntie D took 125 photos or more and I only took a mere 15-20. I might post some later but for now this post is very long as it is.
How was your Thanksgiving holiday? I will post my Black Friday experience next.