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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving Redux

Long's Peak from Carl's deck. (Please click to enlarge and get the details.)

Since my son, Carl, and his wife, Robyn, moved back to Boulder from California a few years ago, the family gathers each year at their house to celebrate Thanksgiving. This year we had a houseful of people and lovely weather. Their home is in the small community of Niwot, which is a few miles northeast of Boulder, with a fantastic view of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Niwot (Left Hand) was the name of a chief of the Arapahoe tribe at the time Boulder was settled by gold seeking pioneers from further east. It is such a beautiful place I sympathize with the Native Americans for losing their favorite wintering camp site.

We had five generations at the gathering, from my parents down to our two greatgrandchildren, with numerous children and grandchildren. For dinner we had a table for ten in the dining room, another table for ten and a table for the five youngest children set up in the adjoining large foyer.

Oldest daughter, Michal Ann, prepared the turkey, dressing, potatoes and gravy. My Dad (90 years of age) peeled the potatoes for her. Carl and Robyn are vegetarians, so she made her yummy cashew loaf and lots of veggies and breads. Youngest daughter, Sharon and her daughter, Samantha baked a caramel cheesecake, apple dapple cake, and a German chocolate birthday cake (Carl's birthday was also on the 23rd, and grandson, Jason, on the 17th). Middle daughter, Kat, and I filled in with special breads, bread pudding, Cajun pecans and assorted other goodies. I remember that before the kids grew up, it was my job to prepare the Thanksgiving dinners; I don't know how I did it, now. Mike says the only thing she doesn't like to do is peel the potatoes and Sharon loves to bake. I can't forget that adult granddaughters, Lindsay and Brooke also brought dishes. Robyn always provides a variety of red and white wines and sparkling grape juice. Needless to say, noone went away hungry.

We were honored by the presence of two new people this year; granddaughter Brooke's new boyfrend, Donnie, who escaped New Orleans the day before Katrina hit, shared some of his family's Cajun customs with us; and youngest daughter, Sharon's lifelong best friend, Karen, introduced us to her new husband, Brendon. He is from the West of Ireland, near Galway and had that wonderful Irish brogue.

After dinner, Carl brought out his tripod and camera, arranged us all on the stairs and took a set of family photos. He was even able to get out from behind the camera and into the picture without tripping over the tripod. Getting everyone gathered and arranged and quiet and smiling into the camera was a major operation and when it was all finished we realized that my husband, Joe, who had been reading in the music room behind the stairs, hadn't been gathered and somehow didn't hear all the ruckus, so he missed being in the photo.

The girls posed as Dirt (Kat in brown shirt), Stem (Michal Ann in tan shirt), and Flower, (Sharon in orange shirt). The have their mother's creative genes and sense of humor.

We always have such a lot of fun together; my kids are all comedians who play off each other; people often say that Carl reminds them of Chevy Chase, nuff said. I am so thankful to have a family who love and support and enjoy each other.


Allison said...

What a great joy to read about your terrific folks!
It's a beautiful setting, too...

Rian said...

What a lovely photo and story. Yes, I can see you there, right in the middle. It sounds like you had the perfect Thanksgiving day. What fun!

QuiltingFitzy said...

I say cut and paste a picture of Joe into the big one! What a great family photo.

Deborah said...

Fran, I finally found you! Your link that is on my blog doesn't take me to your blog anymore. I've got a lot of fixing to do since I went over to beta.

Lovely pictures!

Jane Ann said...

What a grand gathering (and how handsome your parents are!). When you look at all those happy people, you must be proud (and a little amazed) to think you're the cause of most of 'em. And Joe? Men!....honestly! As my daughter says, "Can't live with 'em; can't kill 'em."

quiltnbee said...

What fun, Fran! =-)

Miriam said...

wow what i nice family. God sure has blessed you. i can't think of a nicer setting for thanksgiving, but didya have to describe all that delicious food? now i'm hungry!

Scrapmaker said...

What a wonderful family, and it sounds like you had a lovely day. Jen