November 11, 2013 by comhomflt
This past Saturday, while most were going about the usual business of a fall weekend or perhaps taking advantage of the Veteran’s Day sales to do a bit of shopping, our family gathered one last time before the deployment. My in-laws decided to make a Thanksgiving dinner so my LT could enjoy some of his family’s unique holiday dishes before he left. I’ll admit, I struggled to combine the excited anticipation of a holiday with the emotions of a last family gathering, and I had no will to prepare any of the dishes I traditionally look forward to making. But, the time together with each other was wonderful, even if the holiday aspect of it didn’t feel quite right.
The meal was yummy, as any meal that includes butternut squash and homemade cranberry sauce would be! My mother-in-law topped it off with a delicious squash pie containing the perfect blend of seasonings; even my pumpkin pie aficionado of a father would have approved! Of course, the parts my LT was interested in were precisely the parts I left behind: the French Canadian meat stuffing and the mashed turnips and carrots. Eleven years of marriage has not been sufficient to develop my taste for those dishes, and I agree with my veggie-spurning, cheese-loving brother-in-law that the proper side to fill our plates is mac & cheese! Thankfully, my in-laws have condescended to us family members of lower tastes. Unfortunately, that accommodation is not enough for our oldest. Thanksgiving dinner to him is pure torture, as he loathes all mashed foods. That left turkey, meat stuffing, olives, and mac & cheese for him to enjoy. Doesn’t he look thrilled? He was probably thinking, “And I have to go through this all over again in a couple of weeks?! I’ll never survive!”
The best part of getting together, no matter how delicious the meal or scrumptious the desserts, is enjoying each other’s company. The cousins, in particular, can hardly wait until everyone has arrived at Pepere and Memere’s house, and they have a famous time together. For some reason – perhaps because he is leaving soon – my LT went around snapping individual pictures of all the kiddos, which made for a nice collage.
We also squeezed all eight of them on the sofa for this fun photo:
While the older kids played and the adults chatted, this little guy hung out in the play yard, happily entertained by a bucket of toys and random visits from the various relatives. He also seems to have finally gotten over his irrational fear of his auntie. I think it’s those magical ’80’s Steve Green songs… ;)
Among the things I count myself blessed to enjoy are my fun sister, who teaches me about all things girly, and my TWO lovely sisters-in-law. I see none of them as often as I like, and I enjoy the times we have together, the fun things we do, the encouragement they are to me, and the family bond we share. I love this picture of my northern sister-in-law and I; it just makes me want to sneak away with her for a cozy chat at the local Starbucks! And to my sister and southernish sister-in-law…I will be seeing you soon!
Over the course of the afternoon, we also had a few other things to attend to:
It was as lovely a family gathering as always, and I am so thankful to my in-laws for arranging and preparing it and to my brother-in-law and his family for taking time from their busy schedule to come down. And to my best friend and hubby, who will be gone for Thanksgiving, I hope it was a special day. I will be missing your hugs and our crazy drive through New York City on Thanksgiving Day!