Thanksgiving day, the 4th Thursday in November in the US, brought almost all my siblings to town. It started on Tuesday when my brother Pete came from Chicago and my sister Cath came from Portland with her husband Rick and son Sam. We all met at my stepbrother Brian’s house for an early Thanksgiving dinner since Brian has to work on Thanksgiving.
It was a great way to kick off our week of family celebrations,.and Brian’s first Thanksgiving in his new house. Well done, Brian!
The next day, Wednesday, we spent time precooking and getting the house ready for almost 30 guests on Thursday. Pete and I made a grocery store run and stopped at my namesake garden at school.
After all the hard prep work, we had a family dinner at Bella Italia.
It was nice that Brian could join us that night too.
Thursday brought more cooking and prep for the 4 pm party. And Sam enjoyed our trampoline.
Centerpieces were made by Rick and Sam. Rick went outside and found what he could in our yard.
We later added mandalas made by Sam. It was a beautiful addition and the tables looked so nice.
My sister Sue and her kids Ellie and David arrived around noon from Texas. My brother in law Dave had to fly to Wisconsin to be with his mother who is not well. My sister Beth had told us the day before that she wouldn’t be able to drive up from the SF Bay Area due to illness. We also heard from Stan’s cousin Lisa that she was too sick to join us.
Guests began arriving at 4 pm. Friends and neighbors joined us for a grand total of 25. Before we ate, Andy read a thank you message I had prepared, thanking each guest for the unique ways they are helping me have a high quality of life with this illness. It was nice to be able to share thanks and love in person.
This was my first Thanksgiving not eating and I was envious of everyone eating the delicious food as I poured my dinner into my feeding tube. I am extremely happy to not be aspirating anymore though.
Sam and Andy left with my dad and step mom to stay overnight, so we could fit everyone else. Only David got a couch, but it’s a comfortable one.
Pete left the next morning. The rest of us, after a lazy morning, went to my dad and step mom’s new house. Then we took a hike.
After the hike I showed this part of the family the school garden, then home for some raucous games of spoons (or knives as the case may be)
Catherine, Sam, and Rick flew back to Portland that evening. Sue, David, Ellie, Stan, Andy and I continued the games with a couple Parcheesi games and a dog themed board game that Andy made in grade school. Chinese takeout was the dinner of choice and we made David phone in the order and go pick it up because he speaks Mandarin, but alas, no one he dealt with at the restaurant was Chinese.
We packed the car on the way back home, watched a movie, and then Sue and Ellie and David left early (5 am) on a snowy Sunday morning to fly back to Texas.
It was a wonderful 5 days of connecting with family and friends and sharing love and laughter.
Thanks Pete and Dad for some of the photos!