A new generation – Thanksgiving 2012
Yesterday marked the 41st Thanksgiving that Ed and I have shared together as husband and wife. We had a good meal, and a good day, but it was unusual, and even a bit bitter-sweet for a variety of reasons.
First of all, a former co-worker of mine (and fellow church member to our daughter-in-law, Jennifer), unexpectedly lost her 13-year-old daughter on the day before Thanksgiving. The girl had been sick with the flu, then suddenly just collapsed and died at home, without warning. Cause of death is pending, but is assumed to be heart failure. In our little community, where everyone knows everyone, you can just imagine the impact this tragedy made on everyone’s holiday.
This year, I bought the largest turkey ever–weighing in at 20 1/2 pounds! I bought such a huge turkey because our family has now grown to a grand total of twelve, including Ed’s mom, and all are normally with us for Thanksgiving lunch, and some are back for supper. After buying the large bird, I later discovered that half of our family had made other plans for Thanksgiving lunch! Oops!
After twenty-plus years of baking turkeys, I actually invested in a new roasting pan with a rack, and was excited to try it out. I had Big Bird in the oven by 3:30 am on Thanksgiving morning! Would you believe, I baked that turkey for six and a half hours before the timer popped up? That’s an hour and a half beyond the recommended time! He was golden brown and beautiful–until Ed carved into the thighs…Oops! We quickly discovered Big Bird was still a bit pink around the joints. For the first time ever, a pop-up timer lied to me! First the mishap with the ham a couple of weeks ago, now this! Am I losing my touch???
Fortunately, the breast was done, and that’s all we really care about anyway. We wrapped Big Bird’s thighs and legs up in foil, and put them back into the oven to finish cooking while we ate lunch. I neglected to put them in a pan though…
Our Thanksgiving table was missing five people for lunch this year. Our daughter’s family ate lunch with her hubby’s family, while our youngest son, ate with his wife’s family. Ed and I sat down to eat a quiet meal with his mom, and our oldest son and his family. It quickly became apparent who the loud, talkative members of our family are–and they were all missing! It also became apparent who the big eaters of the family are, too, when I could hardly miss any food after we’d all eaten lunch!
About an hour after lunch, things became interesting when I began to notice a buildup of smoke coming from the kitchen. By then, Ed’s brother had stopped by for a visit, too! The turkey I’d left wrapped in foil, and cooking in the oven, began dripping grease onto the bottom of the oven! Soon Ed and I were fanning smoke while we scurried around opening up a few windows…It was like a scene right out of a funny movie–and my brother-in-law was watching it play out with amusement! You don’t even want to know about the mess in the bottom of my oven…
By suppertime, we had gotten Ed’s mom safely tucked in back at the personal care home, where she lives, and our oldest son’s family left to go eat with the other side of their family. As they were preparing to leave, some of our missing family members were already arriving to visit and partake in the left-overs for supper. We didn’t get a family group photo this year, but we did take a couple of “Four Generation” photos, which was something we hadn’t done in the past.
Ed’s mom, along with our oldest son, his two sons, and Ed
Ed’s mom, our daughter, her daughter, and Ed
We also managed to catch the re-run of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on our old television. You know, the one with the “issues”… Have I mentioned how happy I am to have it back home?
When all was said and done, we had a nice Thanksgiving, after all. Of course, we missed everyone all being together at the same time, but we also realize that times will change, and when they do, we have to adapt and make the best of things. This year also made me so much more thankful for all of the past years when we’ve all been together! Our family has truly been blessed beyond measure, and I am so grateful.
On that note, I’ll say–more bitter-sweet family changes are looming just over the horizon, as someone in our family is preparing for a move…I’ll be blogging about that next week.