Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Family Thanksgiving 2008
Thanksgiving is always a big holiday for my family and this year we had a wonderful time, again. Last year, Dad was in the hospital so Mom, Joe, and I spent the day with him; the kids had their traditional dinner at Carl and Robyn's and then all came to visit the hospital on Friday and were able to have time with Dad before he passed on early Sunday morning. So this year we were really feeling the need to be together.
Derek and Lindsay being greeted by Greg as they arrive with the fantastic soup and flowers.
Joe and I drove Mom to Michal Ann's in Wheatridge (a western suburb of Denver) on Wednesday evening. We now stay at her house since she has two ground floor bedrooms; the stairs at Carl's are too much for Mom and a challenge for me and my oxygen apparatus.
Joe supervises Sharon and Samantha as they prepare Carl's German Chocolate birthday cake.
We have the Thanksgiving meal at Carl and
Robyn's, and since they are vegetarians, Michal Ann cooks the turkey and trimmings, Sharon does desserts and Carl's birthday cake (he was born on the 23rd so we celebrate his birthday with Thanksgiving), Kat makes homemade rolls and sweet potatoes, Robyn does a yummy cashew loaf and fruit and veggie salads, and I fix the whole cranberry sauce and other veggie dishes. This year Lindsay and Derek made a delicious sweet potato and green chiles soup, which was new and a big hit. There were 21 of us at the two tables, from 15 months to 88 years.
Carl and Jason moving second table into foyer, next to the dining room to the right.
Three year old Alex, from Salt Lake City, plays Aunt Robyn's baby grand piano.
In the evening we watched the movie, "Iron Man", which was much more enjoyable than I anticipated. Jeff Bridges did a great acting job in this one; so much so that it took a while to recognize him. The kids have a great time together and make a lot of noise.
On Friday evening we got together at Michal Ann's for a lasagna meal. The children had a great time playing with the family heirloom dinosaurs and jungle animals, that have lived for three generations with Gramma Evy and Grampa Fritz, and have now taken up residence with oldest granddaughter, Michal Ann. Carl presented his Power Poiont show on his trip to Canada this summer in his historic Waco biplane, known affectionately as Old Bar-B-Q in the Canadian northern woods, where it supplied the people at mines and fishing camps on the lakes (on floats in summer and skis in winter) during the 1940s. Part of the presentation was a video of the trip done by the Canadian version of our PBS. He also showed some of his old family photos of us when we were much younger, and some of our forbears who have been gone for decades.
Mandy and Rachel reading together on Aunt Mike's couch. The quilt on Rachel's knees is the one I made for Kaylee when she was born; and she is holding "The Quiltmaker's Journey" which Joe and I gave Kaylee for her birthday this year, to go with "The Quiltmaker's Gift" that went with the quilt. The quilt was made of Quiltmaker fabrics. Kaylee likes to wrap up in the quilt and have Gramma Michal Ann read the books to her.
While this was going on it started snowing and continued all night. It is the first snow we had seen this fall. About a month later than most years, we usually get our first at around Halloween.
Charlie (ex), Sharon (spouse), and Mom at Giuseppe's
On Saturday we drove to Colorado Springs to meet my kids' father and stepmother for lunch at Giuseppe's in the old railroad depot. The seventeen of us had a small room to ourselves and were fortunate to have a great waitress, who took good care of us. We have an interesting family in that Joe and I get along with our ex's and their spouses and have family get togethers that include us all. Time has a way of softening the earlier emotions, and we do share a number of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. (And hopefully, we gain wisdom!)
Carl and Robyn at Giuseppe's (out the windows you could see the coal trains running south full, and north empty. (There goes more of Wyoming!) Alex, Shaun, and Kaylee loved watching the trains.
We drove home from the Springs (through fog on Monument Hill), and the kids drove back to Denver (my ex and his wife now live in Pueblo). I am so glad that we didn't wait for Sunday to drive home, because it snowed heavily and made for slow, dangerous, stop and go driving on Monument Hill, on I-25, between Denver and the Springs. Sharon and her little ones had to stay over an extra day in Denver and drive to Salt Lake City on Monday. Here in Florence, we had enough snow early Sunday morning to turn everything white, but it stopped and melted off by noon.
I am so blessed to have such a wonderful, loving family (even if some of us agree to disagree on politics)! That's what Thanksgiving is all about.