Our Thanksgiving gathering -- 11/24/07

For a number of years we had Thanksgiving dinner at Nancy's mother's house. We had formed the habit of having people over here for early afternoon Hors d'œuvre, thus allowing meal preparation to take place at her mother's house without a huge crowd in the way. This generally meant a quick dash home following the Newport Pie Run 5 mile race to get ready for our part of the day's events. (2000 was different. Nancy's sister Sue had just moved into a new home in Connecticut and she hosted Thanksgiving that year.) In 2001 I noted in my Thanksgiving-related entry that we had a three-house celebration: pre-feast snacks and drinks at our house, dinner at Nancy's mother's house, and dessert across the street and her sister Janet's house.

For the past several years we've been renting the parish hall at Nancy's church in town for our Thanksgiving We began in 2002 with Thanksgiving dinner at the parish hall and dessert at Nancy's Mom's place. I think that was the year we began having a Wednesday night gathering at our house for everyone in the family who had arrived in advance of the holiday (some just drove over on Thursday afternoon) In 2003 and 2004 we decided it was better to have the entire celebration there at the parish hall, but in 2005 we brought the dessert part of the festivities back to Nancy's Mom's house so that we could turn it into a surprise dual birthday party for one of Nancy's sisters celebrating her 40th birthday and a sister-in-law celebrating her 50th. Last year it took me two entries (part 1 for the Wednesday night dinner at our house and part 2 for Thanksgiving itself) to cover the holiday events.

This year, however, we returned to Sue & Mike's house...
Apparently enough time had passed since 2000 for Sue to have forgotten how much effort had gone into hosting Thanksgiving dinner because she once again invited us all to her house.
Nancy with our niece Jen (Sue's daughter)
The youngest members of the crowd are learning to play foosball.

Boone, Jake, and Boone's older sister, Annabrett.

This playroom was in a large tent Sue had rented for the occasion and attached to the side of her house.
Jeremy and his cousin Mike.

(The doorway just visible behind Jeremy's shoulder is open into the tent.)
Sue: "Don't take my picture!" Tom: "I suppose this will be on the Internet."
Sue had a photograph for each family member that had been taken of them at previous Thanksgiving celebrations (some more than twenty years ago). She also had made a banner honoring Matt's service in Iraq (he had just returned a few weeks ago from his second deployment there) and thanking his wife and son for enduring those months of separation.
I think I counted 41 people (including the toddlers) There would have been fifty except for a outbreak of stomach flu that kept a sister and her family from attending, including her daughter and her husband and kids who headed back to Virginia under the theory that if you are going to be sick, it is better to be sick at home.

After dinner most of us headed outside for fresh air and exercise with a walk around the neighborhood. The weather was very mild, overcast skies (and some light rain showers for the trip home), but the high temperature for the day was around sixty degrees. (In contrast, the high the next day barely reached forty and today feels even a bit more brisk.)

We returned from our walk to enjoy coffee and dessert (cookies, cake, apple pies, pumpkin pies, and mincemeat pies, plus real whipped cream to plop onto your slice of pie).

Sue, it was magnificent! Thank you.

To all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving, I hope you had a good one.... and Good Cheer to all.

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