Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thanksgiving Reflections in 2005

Tara's smile when she came in on Thanksgiving Day is definitely my brightest memory. Her smile was even brighter than the beautiful diamond on her left hand, which she flashed for us. Come to find out, Gerald, who had gone up to Johnston City the night before to Geri Ann's basketball game, had already seen the ring and had refrained from telling, so we could all enjoy the big moment when our oldest grandchild made her exciting announcement. I told handsome Bryan that I was glad Tara said yes; and with much feeling, he said he was too.

We enjoyed having Erin home from Notre Dame and her teammate Christina also. Her California home was too far away for a short school holiday, so we were happy we got to be her second choice.

I had plenty of pumpkin pie for son Gerry--home from Mexico--and a couple of pecan pies also. The pumpkin was from Gerald's garden as were most of the veggies--the green beans that Mary Ellen turned into sons-in-law Rick and Brian's favorite casserole, fried okra, eggplant casserole, turnips, corn-on-the-cob, and the tomatoes in the salad. We also had to have mashed potatoes,sweet potato casserole, pickled beets, celery, cranberry sauce, and Vickie's corn custard casserole to go with our turkey, giblet gravy, and dressing.

Jeannie and Rick had arrived with Leslie, Lige, and Cecelie at midnight all the way from Freeport. Although I had carefully put on the outside porch light before I went to bed, somehow I overlooked that the door had been locked. I don't know how long they stood in the chill before I heard their arrival and let them in with much excitement since Lucky and Leah dashed right in also before the kids grabbed them and put them elsewhere. Before going to bed, I had put sheets on the living room couch for Les and fixed a pallet on the floor for Elijah. Cecelie still fits in the tiny youth bed that I moved upstairs to her parents' bedroom. When people ask me why we built such a large house for retirement, I ask them if they want to come at holiday time and sleep on the floor like people do here at times.

Mary Ellen and Bryan, Trent, and Brianna arrived from Lake Saint Louis on Thanksgiving morning. Their Fifi acted just as happy to see her cousins Leah and Lucky, as the human cousins were to see each other.

Katherine, David, and Sam had only to come upstairs to join the festivities since they are temporarily here during house remodeling.

Another special Thanksgiving memory was the presence of five unusual water fowl (large for ducks, small for geese) that graced our lake. They let us come within four or five feet of them and were not afraid of humans. Gerald could not find their picture in any of his bird identification books, but after discussions with his brother Keith, he decided they were Egyptian geese--wings of beautiful browns with white feathers under their wings showing when they flew, pinkish-red beaks and long pinkish-red legs. Like the rest of our guests, they have gone on to other places now, but we will think back on their presence with us fondly.

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