Introducing part of my family. Number 2 son, Jason, and his wife Rhonda had to leave early. Lacie, Conlan's fiancee is at the university in Tuscon in Arizona and couldn't make it home for Thanksgiving.
Justin (#3 son)
Jeremy (#4 the baby) Jeremy, sporting the Elvis look
Justin, Conlan, Jeremy, & Liz.
I won't get into why Liz is taking a picture of the backs of two bald heads.
We all have traditions, and the Thanksgiving tradition at our house seems to be to have no set Tradition at all. The one thing that seems to stick is everyone in my family agrees that Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday. When the boys were small and I was still married, Thanksgiving was pretty simple, we all went to my mother-in-laws. She did all of the cooking while I chased my four boys. My folks always went north to my grandmothers house for Thanksgiving in those days. After my divorce the boys and I would go to our family cabin in the mountains. My parents were still trekking to Grandma's up north. Our good friends Wayne and Jennifer would join us with their two children. They loved to come to the cabin for Thanksgiving because they had four sets of parents to makes the rounds to (due to divorce etc) and it was much simpler to go to the cabin. As the boys grew into adults and my job had me traveling around the country there were times when Thanksgiving didn't even seem to happen. I might be in Florida working Hurricane Andrew, or one of the boys had a new girlfriend and decided to spend Thanksgiving away. A few times the family went five different directions: ex husband, grandma's, great grandma's, new girlfriend, or me at some far off location.
This year I hadn't really planned Thanksgiving as last year it seems to be a last minute thing and after cooking the turkey and trimmings I think only Justin and Liz showed up. No one could make up their minds what they wanted to do that year. Anyway, I had decided to go south this year and join the WINS...that is until I had surgery and the doctor said no driving for a while.
A few weeks before my surgery, Liz sent out an email to all of the family inviting us over for Thanksgiving. I was shocked, because Liz and Justin rarely entertain. Their house is small and the kitchen even smaller. They are minimalists and I think they have a dinner service for 4. There isn't much room in their tiny kitchen for much more. Oh, they have had a few backyard summer get togethers but nothing as complicated as Thanksgiving dinner. I was really impressed and surprised they were going to attempt Thanksgiving at their house, much less cooking it all by themselves. But there was a slight catch.
So I'll back up here a little. A few weeks before my surgery and Thanksgiving, I had to move all my furnishing out of my house. The house has been rented furnished for the past 6 months but the tenants wanted to rent it unfurnished. Jeremy had moved in to his house in Calpine without one stick of furniture. He was literally sitting and sleeping on the floor. So, the guys moved all of the furniture and kitchen stuff to Jeremy's house for Jeremy to use. Seemed like a win win situation because I wouldn't need to rent a storage unit. Jeremy's girlfriend, Irene, moved in with her stuff and her daughter and it turned out that Jeremy didn't need/want most of my kitchen stuff and little of my furniture. So it sat in the garage, waiting for me to move it again. Until....
Last week Justin and Liz came to Calpine with their truck and picked through all of the "left over" kitchen and furniture stuff " that Jeremy and Irene didn't want. They hauled off the behemoth Kitchen Aide mixer, the varies buffet style platters including the large turkey serving platter used only for Thanksgiving, the turkey carving board, the dinner ware and flatware and much more which I accumulated over the past 40 years or so.....everything they would need to cook and serve Thanksgiving dinner. Liz was pretty adamant about not serving on paper plates and using plastic utensils. I felt a little sad as they drove off in their truck realizing they were taking a lot of memories with them. I'm hoping they will keep what they took and store it for a while and preserve some of those memories.
Turkey day arrived and Jeremy taxied us to Justin and Liz's house which is an hour's drive. I'm feeling a little worried on the way because it's rare that all of the boys get together at the same time and when they do and as in most families, someone brings up a sensitive issue...and then the "fun" begins. Well, I've got to say, my guys surprised me. They all had such a good time. Liz and Justin did a wonderful job of cooking the turkey and the trimmings all by themselves. They managed to squeeze 12 people and two dogs to a wonderful sit down dinner in their small home! And afterwords the real fun began. See the pictures below. Unfortunately, number 2 son Jason, and his wife Rhonda, left early and missed out, but the rest of the guys let it fly while I sat on the sidelines with my crutch and enjoyed the whole scenic wonder! I do hope this becomes a real tradition.
Irene and Jeremy
Liz & Justin
Conlan is showing off to Irene. His financee Lacie is in college and couldn't make for Thanksgiving due to studying for finals.
Liz is teaching Conlan to dance
Conlan, the dog whisperer with his dog Boone (the lab) and Justin's dog Jezabell (the springer spanial). I left Sadie at home this time. Two dogs and 12 people is a lot in this tiny home and adding one more would have been too much!
Justin is trying to convince Jeremy it's OK to dance with your brother.
Veronica, the star of the show (Irene's daughter) and Justin
Liz and Veronica
Are we having fun!!
Liz is showing Irene the "Jones way" of dancing
Justin, it's not what it looks like!