For the past few years I’ve been sharing in the Thanksgiving feast of my youngest daughter’s extended family. Her mother in law hosts this gathering each year and puts on a spread you wouldn’t believe. There is so much food and lovely desserts – enough to feed an army – which is basically what this family becomes, with children, spouses, grandchildren and great grandchildren. The house is modest in size, but there is a buzz of togetherness that can’t be matched anywhere else.
I love going there each year. It reminds me of my childhood Thanksgivings, shared with relatives. My parents both came from large families. This family pitches in by getting the food on the table and still manages to tease each other while enjoying each others’ company. Everyone also brings a side dish to share, but the bulk of the meal falls on the shoulders of the matriarch. Her son and my daughter have been married for several years now, but I’m still discovering new things about this wonderful group of people – mostly their zest for life and commitment to each other.
Not having any brothers, I had no idea what it would be like to be the only female in the house of seven. The biggest problem my dad had, was making sure the seat was down on the toilet when he left the bathroom. The rest of the time, he just stayed clear of us.
The pandemonium is delightful. Each one vying for attention resulting in chaos, yet within it a quiet order to all of it. The women in this family are dedicated to Black Friday shopping. While waiting to eat, each has a catalog section from the newspaper for every store in town. They look for the best buys, write down their wish list items and just before the stores open, they are ready to go. Needless to say, I don’t join in this part of the tradition.
The Thanksgiving feast put another dent in my slowly fading fast diet, but I am still resolved to continue. The rest of my day was spent with my dog, Gage and the movie, “The Greatest Showman.” There’s something about that movie which just screams family and hat’s what Thanksgiving #3 was all about – family. I’m so blessed to be included in three wonderful families – my own, my church and my extended family. It was a good day.