Well it's over. And now there is snow. I am pretty much snowed in so I thought I'd write about our Thanksgiving. It is the biggest holiday of the year for my family. I am the oldest of seven siblings and everyone of them has kids and grandkids and inlaws and often friends who come. For years it was celebrated at my farm in Locust Grove where my oldest grandson lives now with his six kids--his, hers, and ours. There were hikes through the pastures and woods, rocks to throw in the creek, a horse to saddle for the kids to ride, piles of leaves to dive into, sometimes peacocks to chase despite that being forbidden, sofas to fall asleep to the football game on, more desserts than anyone could ever eat. My favorite is pecan pie and whipped cream without too much sugar. There were always more than 20, and often, like this year, more than sixty.
Traditions other than the traditional pecan pie (Myrna) and pumpkin pie(Jeri) include Chris's (now Abbie's) cheese grits, Pris's (now Lorie's) oriental slaw, Lorie's sweet potatoes with marshmallows (I like it best when she puts bourbon in it), my dressing and gravy, Bob's smoked turkey and ham, some wonderful things that BJ bakes, and lots more that I'm sure I've left out.
Now we have a great day at my brother's place on Grand Lake. Lots of room for kids to run, a lake for parents and grandparents to worry about. No horse or peacocks, but beautiful walks and lots of leaves to kick.
I can't remember a Thanksgiving day in more than fifty years that the weather wasn't beautiful and it was again this year. The snow came later.
All my kids were here: from Stillwater, Austin, and Brazil. With grandkids from Locust Grove. The newest great grand girl was born on the Monday before TG, so she and her parents opted out.
On Tuesday night it was just me and the kids and grandkids. We had coneys. A family tradition. Only fifteen of us.
On Wednesday night I had dinner here for brothers, sister, nieces, nephews, sisters in law, and us. There were only twenty-five.
On Thursday morning I cooked a turkey, dressing, and gravy to take to brother Bob's. We expected seventy, but only sixty four were there. I hope i remember next year that when seventy are expected a goodly percentage of those are kids who eat nothing but dessert. Too busy playing.
We were missing five who were in Minneapolis, one sister in law who was with her parents, four who were with the other set of parents. But there were several guests to make up the numbers so we didn't feel lonely. In the past we've had guests from Switzerland, Germany, Mexico, and Japan. And probably more places that I don't remember. I especially remember the young man from Japan who was convinced he would insult us by not eating some of everything. He was about to bust when someone finally told him it wasn't possible and it was okay to leave something on his plate. And the kids from Switzerland with broad smiles and eyes big as saucers as they were led around on my daughters big team penning horse. cameras flashing all around.
Family this year came from Florida, Oregon, Texas, and Brazil. Minnesotans and Bostonians were in Minneapolis.
No matter how hard you try to circulate, it's impossible to talk with everyone, and every time you move there is a kid racing by chasing another kid. Or a hoard of child locusts headed for the dessert table. Again.
It's chaos. It's wonderful. In my lifetime I've only missed two, maybe three Thanksgivings with my family. We are so lucky. As long as we don't talk politics everything is fine and the stories we tell about growing up with six kids, a saintly mother, and an iconoclastic father get funnier every year. One of these days someone will remember to punch the record button on their iPhone and we'll start our book.