When Patty and I were first married (Wow! 16 years ago) we found Thanksgiving to be a crazy day. We never had dinner at our house, so we’d get up early and make whatever it was we were taking to our destination dinners. Notice the word “dinners” is in the plural! We’d generally drive from Lakeside down to Chula Vista to have the early Thanksgiving dinner with my family who generally ate around noon. We’d finish at my parents home, then drive all the way up to Temecula to have Thanksgiving dinner with Patty’s family. By the time the day was over, we’d put on about 130 miles roundtrip and have consumed two full Thanksgiving meals! After doing this for a few years we finally decided we’d change the ritual and have Thanksgiving dinner at our house for both families. This totaled anywhere from 25 to 30 people but what a great time we’d have. The cooking generally started a couple of days ahead, doing the small time-consuming things that you could safely store in the fridge. Then the day of, we’d put thing in high gear and really knock out the food. Of course, the bloody mary’s started around 9 a.m. The problem with starting the BM’s so early is that once you start, you can’t stop! That always made for an interesting day! One thing I was insistent about was everyone sitting at the table. I don’t know many people who have tables, chairs and table settings for 30 because I know we didn’t, so we’d rent everything. 3 eight foot tables set up end to end stretched from our dining room way out into the living room. But it worked! I remember each year, when the food was served, I’d always sit at one end of the table and look down the line of people and see everyone I loved in the same room, at the same table, all having a great time. There were my parents, Patty’s parents, her sisters, my sister, our kids, our aunts and uncles, grandma, cousins and a few friends. And loud? Oh man! It was loud! But that was ok… everyone was having fun! What a party!
Each year there was always at least one disaster. This one is in the top three of Thanksgiving disasters. I remember one year, everyone was packed inside the house and even flowed out to the backyard. Patty and I were in the kitchen. Patty needed the pepper for something. She found the full pepper shaker sitting on the hot stove. She picked it up and didn’t realize the plastic stopper in the bottom of the shaker had stuck to the stove top. When she lifted it, the pepper flowed out the bottom of the shaker. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, but the fan was on above the stove. I watched as the ball of pepper got caught in the air flow from the fan. The ball swirled and rose, then made its way across the kitchen. As the ball of pepper blew across the kitchen like a swarm of bees, I watched as it took out anyone and everyone in its path! This ball of pepper wiped out at least 10 people, maybe more! There was coughing and sneezing like I’ve never witnessed. Patty and I were the first victims, followed by grandma, Patty’s aunt and anyone else breathing in the area. It’s wasn’t that funny at the time, but looking back, it was pretty comical!!!
Today we’re planning on spending our day at Nicole’s house. We offered to host the dinner in our condo clubhouse, but Nicole insisted that she and Joey can handle it at their house. It’ s probably a good thing since we’re not sure how long Patty will last today. This will be another Thanksgiving with the entire family! We’re looking forward to the day!
So, what am I thankful for today? I could say the traditional politically correct things by just saying I’m thankful for our health and family. That’s too easy. I look back over the past year and I’m thankful for a number of things… I’m thankful for the relationship I have with Patty! I’m thankful of that because of the trials we’ve endured this year. As tough as they’ve been, we’ve grown so much closer and stronger than I could have ever imagined. I’m thankful that she is doing so well and we only have one more chemo to go! I’m thankful that we were blessed with our second grandchild, 7 week old Avery. She’s such a doll. I’m thankful that our 1st grandchild, Mia, is with us on this holiday. She is such a cutie and so smart! I’m thankful that my daughter, Kristi, is pregnant with our 3rd grandchild! We’re counting the days until he, or she, will come into this world. I’m thankful to be living in San Diego again to be close to our family and friends, not just for today but everyday. In that same note, I’m really really thankful that I don’t have to shovel snow or clear the driveway this Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for the geek that invented the internet. Without it I would have never been able to start this blog and be able to share our journey with all our friends and family. I’m thankful that we’re starting to look for a new house! (Living in 708 square feet is killing us!) And last but not least, I’m thankful that I have a pair of pants to wear today that are a little big that will allow me to have that 2nd helping of food and grow into them!