It was a wonderful Thanksgiving. The first since Daddy died. I really never thought of it. I kept myself so busy and going the few days before Thanksgiving, the Day of and until this morning, I have been going. I deal better by doing. That is my comfort zone, the human doing instead of a human being. Keep going, walk it off, just focus on what is in front of you. Those are all things my parents would tell us. My big brother Rob and his sweet wife, my sister (in law) JongAe and their daughter, Jessica. For the past few Thanksgivings, Rob would meet me half way between here and Palmetto and we would do the trade off with Dad. We would always meet at a Cracker Barrel and Dad would order chicken and dumplings, but not too much chicken, more dumplings......"the chicken is dry" The waitress always looked at him like they had never heard anyone make such a request.
Then Dad would spend a week or so here with me and we would go through the process of picking and ordering his Christmas presents. Rob and JongAe would then drive up Wednesday night along with every other American travelling for the holiday and it would take 6 hours or more. Everyone would be tired and frustrated by the time they got here. It was not a great way to start the trip. This year, there is no Dad. He is missed, but at this age, it is nice to still have Thanksgiving dinner with your big brother and his family. Rob would have liked to have Thanksgiving in the woods at the National Park, Lake Dor. That is where we would have Thanksgiving every year as children. There would be 5 families all together. It was cold and the food was cooked on open fires, pits and Coleman stoves. Everyone slept in tents, Five families, five tents. A perfect childhood.
Very happy memories.
There is the pig incident when I pretty much quit eating meat
and of course there was the Thanksgiving where Vicki's parents were killed.
We were older by that point, and actually the last Thanksgiving I remember going on with the family.
Rob and family drove up on Thursday morning and it took them 4 hours. When they got here they were relaxed and happy and they quickly unpacked into the 5th wheel. They were so excited about getting to "camp". This is as close as Jessica has gotten so far in her 9 years. I had the turkey in the oven roasting away. I had watched several Thanksgiving shows and had a plan of attack for the turkey, the dressing and the pumpkin pie. JongAe brought acorn squash and broccoli casserole. The potatoes were set in the pot waiting for the turkey to come out so that JongAe could mash them. The pecan praline pumpkin pie and soufflé looked beautiful. JongAe watched the food in the oven and baked the rolls while I finished the gravy and Bug and Rob carved the bird. Football was on the TV.
JongAe had used the broccoli they had grown, I used our sweet potatoes and made two kinds. The oranges in the cranberry sauce was from my trees and as we melted like gravy as we ate bite after delicious bite. Everything was wonderful. You could tell the difference in the fresh grown veggies versus the canned or frozen ones we normally used. We ate in the living room, on my mother's couch, it was her mother's couch at some point, it is now mine. Rob, JongAe and Jessica all admire the couch over and over and commented on how different it looked. I told them the story about the different layers of material I had found when I recovered it. Rob laughed as we remembered Mother's choices. The burlap covers were the most memorable. We ate food that recipes my mother taught me were followed, or with full knowledge I tweaked them to our taste. The five of us came together as one family. We missed the parts of our family not there, but knew that they were family, and that everything was right. Maybe our last, maybe next year Rob and family will get to go camping. maybe
Jessica is 9. She will be 10 in January. She has a lot of energy. She talks so fast I had to keep asking her to slow down and look at my face when she talked so I could try and keep up with her. I told her I did not mean to criticize, I really did want to talk with her, but Aunt Kathleen moves very slow now a days and she would need to keep that in mine. She was very sweet and tried. I tried very hard to get the gist of her conversation, even if I didn't get most of the words. Did I mention she has a lot of energy? They got here around noon on Thanksgiving day and then left this morning. In that time, we finished putting the stain on the rocking chair I have been refinishing for Jessica. Then we drew pictures, worked with paper maichee making Christmas ornaments, another family tradition, we made embroidery thread tassels and then made someone of them into angels. We made felt flowers and ornaments, Jessica wrote the sweetest Thank you notes to Bug, me, the Dogs and the entire family. They had pictures as well as the thank yous. Oh, and we cooked and ate and watched football.
And each morning we walked up to the exit for breakfast. Friday we walked to the Huddle House, today we walked up to McD's. It was so much fun as a family to get up in the morning, wrap up in scarves, hats and heavy winter coats and walk through this beautiful area with leaves changing and deer prints on the road. We walked up and down the road and into civilization, then we would walk back home, into the quiet and the woods.
I did too much, and today I have not answered the phone, I have not answered anyone, or wished happy Thanksgiving, and missed my cousin Lori's birthday. I have lived my life in my way, doing too much. Doing so much that I am worthless when I crash. I just sit.
But tomorrow is Sunday and I can rest another day and watch football. There is plenty of leftovers in the frig, a perfect Thanksgiving Sunday.
I am thankful for
my sweet husband
my beloved animals, Bob, Edna, Harley, Henry, Marina, Stella and Luna, John C Bennett, Buttercup, Dewdrop, Rose, Daisy, Magnolia, Camellia, Brugmansia, Hyacinth and Gladiola, the Bubba, and Big Bunny, may she rest in peace.
We found Big Brown Bunny in the pasture. She was laying on her back, she looked like she had been grabbed by an owl or some other big bird. The bird had dropped Bunny and she looked like she had watched the clouds and sky and was gone. We were happy to know where she was, and will miss her dearly.
I am thankful for
my dear and precious family
for my cancer because it has helped me to savor every moment. Looking over at my 9 year old niece and watch her animated face as she tells story after story about her girlfriends in her 9 year old language. Eyes sparkling and the self assurance of a little girl as she acts like her peers. She is growing up so fast.
I am thankful for
Christopher and his sweet sense of humor and view of the world.
Nathaniel as he and Desmond strutted their stuff across the football field, seniors
already heading out into the world
I am thankful for our parents
and growing up with the love of holidays
and what a wonderful world
and I am Thankful for being here at this very moment and feeling the cold air in the morning on my cheeks, and the sun on my back in the afternoon
to curl up at night on our dear comfy bed under our down
warm and snugly