I’ve never really known what do do about Thanksgiving. I don’t remember most of them as a young child until my grandparents moved to Merritt Island. Then there were a few really uncomfortable Thanksgivings where it seemed to be a race between my Stepmonster and my grandfather as to who could get drunk quickest; then usually she would storm off and spend the rest of the day hidden in the bedroom, and he would get maudlin and tell the same three stories over and over and over again. So that was always fun.
Then there were a few bumpy years of G-ma having the stroke, Papa dying, Aunt Gay and Uncle Joe beginning to go to her relatives for the holidays, I moved away, I came back, the Stepmonster thankfully left the family, we got Barbara, I bought a house. I think it was after I bought the house that the tradition of eating early and going to a movie started – but then that only lasted for about five years and then daddy died. Sigh.
But then Tim and I hooked up, and we started going to his family in South Bend for Thanksgiving. And it was like a Norman Rockwell painting come to life! Everyone was genuinely happy, so full of love and laughter, and nobody got drunk and said horrible things just to make each other cry! It was awesome! Idyllic, too, if you’ve seen my photos.
This year, as soon as Tim lost his job, we knew we weren’t going to be able to go. We held off on officially making the decision, but really… with the price of hotels for the overnight driving, gas, rental car, kenneling the dogs… it was just going to be too much. Especially if it took Tim a while to get a job – and even if he got one right away, who’s to say that he’d be allowed to take a week off that close to starting? So we decided we weren’t going to go, and starting making plans with Tim’s sister Amy, who wouldn’t be able to get away from the park.
And then, about two weeks ago, Tim’s Uncle Ron passed away unexpectedly. Long time readers may remember when his Aunt Carolyn passed away about three years ago… this was her husband. When you’re raised in a family as close as theirs, and cousins as dear to your heart as your own siblings are suddenly adrift… well, you can’t *not* go if you can at all get there. So Tim drove up – straight through – to represent for the Florida branch of the family.
I still went out to Amy and Isaac’s, and both Barbara and Jeff came along as well. I think we could have fed all of us *and* the 30 or so people gathering for dinner in South Bend! I think our weather was probably better, though. < grin >
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