Sunday, November 29, 2009

Two Thanksgivings

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It has all the good feelings and visiting with family and friends that Christmas has, but doesn't have the craziness of shopping, wrapping and money spend that goes with Christmas.

Skip and I have hosted our fair share of Thanksgiving dinners, including a number with both her parents and mine in attendance. The days where we hosted are long gone, though, and we have benefited from the generosity of family and friends for many years.

This year, we went to Thanksgiving at the home of our friends D&D. They are famous for their dinners and parties for friends and family, and deservedly so. One of them used to be a chef and we first met them by having dinner at the restaurant they owned. There were 15 of us at dinner. Family for both D's and friends gathered at a table set with wonderful, traditional stuff ... turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, mashed butternut squash, warm rolls, cranberry sauce, roasted brussels sprouts (these were a revelation as I'd never had them roasted before).

We ate well, watched football, had a chance to visit with folks and really enjoyed ourselves. Skip was up and in her wheelchair for longer than she has been of late, and she tolerated it well.

The plan had been for me to cook a turkey and fixings on Friday so we'd have leftovers, since what is Thanksgiving without them? D&D had a ton of food left, including a second turkey that hadn't even been cut into for dinner, and loaded us down with a bit of everything. I reheated it all on Friday evening and we enjoyed it immensely. Our turkey went into the freezer for some weekend during the winter when roast turkey followed by turkey soup and turkey tetrazini will be quite welcome.

My parents saw my sister and her husband and four boys on Thanksgiving day, so they invited my brother, his wife and three kids and Skip and me for yesterday, Saturday, at their house on Cape Cod. My dad's aide would do all the cooking and cleanup so we could even be lazy to boot. With her wound, Skip wasn't up to the trip (four hours of jostling in the car over the round trip was especially a concern). I waited around at home until 3pm for the nurse to come and change Skip's packing and bandage, then got her up and in the chair and headed down to the Cape. Fortunately for me, dinner was scheduled for 6pm because my nephew had to work and wouldn't arrive until 5:30. I got to my parents' house about 10 minutes before he did.

We sat down to a lovely dinner of boneless rib roast, scalloped potatoes, broccoli with aioli sauce, creamed onions (one of my mother's specialties) and fruited breads my sister-in-law made. My brother's kids are all in their 20s and have turned into great young adults. I am not so comfortable with kids and never really knew what to say to them or my sister's kids when they were young. Now, they're of an age where I find it much easier to chat with them and, I'm sure, they're more comfortable talking with me.  I didn't get much chance to chat with my parents on this visit, but I know they were very happy to see us all together, breaking bread and having lively conversations.

And, the entire group, with my sister's family added in, is getting back together the Saturday after Christmas at my parents' house. I'm very much hoping Skip will be up to that trip. And, if she comes, we'll bring the pups along, too. They'll get serious loving from all my nieces and nephews.


Herrad said...

Hi Cranky,
Stopped by to say helLo.
ps quite hungry now after reading about your thanks giving dinner and dinner with your family.

Diane J Standiford said...

Sounds very Rockwell, except for the MS. Cape Cod...I just want to say that..."I had Thanksgiving turkey at the Cape." ooooo, that felt good, the air so fresh it hurt my lungs! Happy Holidays you two, I hope Skip is feeling better soon.

Cranky said...

Hi Herrad - thanks for coming by! I'm sure Richie cooked you up something wonderful and help satisfy that hunger. :-)

Diane - Yes, I'm WASPy enough and middle-class enough to have some of that Normal Rockwell feel to these holidays. Course, he didn't have the lesbian aunties, one in a wheelchair, sitting at the table! Happy holidays to you and Karenlee and yes, I hope Skip is feeling better soon, too!