Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving

What would Thanksgiving be without a turkey disaster? Actually,
even though this one caught fire (!), the meat tasted pretty good.
Thanks to the great cooking by my sister and her oldest daughters, we had
quite a feast--including this yummy pull-apart bread, pumpkin gnocchi, apple dumplings,
and rolls with herb leaves painted on them!
You can see our contribution--cranberry relish and fruit salad--at the top left.
All three of these photos are shamelessly stolen from my sister's blog, 'cause
she took pictures while I took video.
Once again, it is late, so I am not going to go into too much detail about our Thanksgiving; if you want the full scoop, you should visit my sister's great blog here and here.

The short version is that it was a very good Thanksgiving, with the whole family home--including 18 little ankle-biters running around. (OK, the oldest aren't quite so little anymore, at 11 and 13.) So many little ones made it easier to overlook the fact that one important person, Dad, was missing this year--and of course, he's "Home" home. I'm sure he enjoyed the gathering in ways we can only imagine.

The big deal this year was to roast the turkey on a spit. This did not go as planned, as indicated by the remote meat thermometer suddenly sounding an alarm indicating that a temp of 165 had been reached -- way too early. It turned out that with all the butter and grease that had been thrown in and on the turkey, it went up in flames. (See top photo.) The meat tasted perfectly fine, however, as did the rest of the fantastic meal. As a ten-year-old cousin said just before we prayed (lifting one hand to the sky): "Tonight, we feast!"

The cousins had a great time getting to know one another all over again. We also celebrated my sister's birthday--an especially poignant moment, considering how close we are to the anniversary of her near-death. In fact, we marked that anniversary by giving her a copy of her CaringBridge journal, printed out very nicely as a full-color book; we also gave her a book version of the last year of her blog as a sort of counterpoint to the CaringBridge journal. Both were very well done through a service called Blog2Print. It has been quite a year for Becky.

Meagan and her daughter distributed cut-out construction paper "leaves" made by tracing her hand -- everyone wrote something they were grateful for on it, and the "leaves" were all taped to a tree on the wall. A very cute idea, I thought.

And later in the evening, my sister Mary's kids presented several poems they had memorized by heart -- very cute! Our Jaybird wanted to recite a poem, too, so she did, the next day. Sort of. We're not sure whether she learned it somewhere or made it up, but she got very shy halfway through and didn't seem to remember the ending.

Here are some more photos:

Mary, taking a break from her baking, with pull-apart bread.

Bear with his cousin -- fast friends.

Becky with her children. Still amazing to think of how close we
came to losing her. Show your appreciation for people while
they're still here, for pity's sake!

Starling, Jaybird, and Mudpuppy, before the feast.

Grandma and Mudpuppy.

Eating arrangements are kind of ad hoc when you're seating 30.

The cousins went out to play on the snow hill for several hours after dinner.

Watching TV -- an American tradition.

The oldest of the Gundrum children show Mouse how to knit.