It’s all quiet in the house again. For the past few days, it was full of the kind of enjoyable chaos that comes when it is filled with family.
It was my turn to host the family Thanksgiving again and it made for a busy week. Brad arrived home Wednesday afternoon with girlfriend, Heather and dog, Dakota. It was snowing that day… the kind of snow that had everyone talking about how much we might get and how difficult travel might be. In the end, there was just enough snow to make the Wednesday rush hour slightly interesting, but not enough to do any real damage.
I had a chiropractor appointment Wednesday afternoon and when I came home, Brad asked what was for dinner. I had no idea, but the thought of cooking was much more appealing than normal because there were kids willing to stay home and eat it. So I whipped together some meatballs and a side dish of rice. We heated up a frozen vegetable and Kacey, Brad, Heather and I sat down to eat together at the table.
Later on, Heather and I worked in the kitchen, she making up a big batch of turkey gravy and me working on the stuffing for Thanksgiving day. I did some cleaning in the lower level and decided to leave the upstairs for the next morning. I was tired and fell asleep immediately.
Thursday morning was hectic. Mark and I worked together to get a 27 pound turkey ready for cooking. There was more cleaning and food preparation and jockeying for the shower as we all tried to get ready for a house full of company. By the time company started arriving, we may have forgotten to dust the t.v. stand downstairs, but I don’t think anyone really noticed.
My brothers and sister all came with their families and soon the house was bustling with rambunctious kids and everyone seemed to be in my little kitchen. No matter, we worked around each other and soon we had the feast ready to share. We had the usual – turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, home-grown squash, dinner rolls, the family recipe stuffing that no one can get enough of, and mom’s traditional German sweet and sour cabbage (to which the in-law members of the family always say “yuck.” But it is tradition and my siblings and I love it!) It was a wonderful and delicious dinner. The only thing missing was our mom and dad, but they were in our hearts and we thought of them especially as we said grace.
After everyone had gone home for the night, I called my parents in Arizona. They had been invited to the home of some friends for Thanksgiving dinner, and they said it was nice, but not quite the same as being at home with family. I was glad though that they had someone watching out for them and who cared enough to invite Mom and Dad to share the day with them.
Everyone had a food-hangover on Friday, and it was a low-key kind of day. I was up early for an appointment and came home to the smell of fresh-baked Butter Braids coffee cakes! Mmmmm!
Heather had mentioned possibly doing a little Black Friday shopping, and although I’m not one who typically leaves the house the day after Thanksgiving, we agreed to a quick run to Target, which is just a couple of blocks away. It was busy there, but not too crazy. I didn’t do any Christmas shopping, but I took advantage of a sale on DVD players and got one for twenty dollars for the upstairs television. Then I went and found a couple of my favorite Christmas movies on DVD to replace the VHS versions I had at home.
The rest of the day included some bowling, some movie watching and some munching on leftovers. In the evening, our friends Bill and Tammy came over with their kids, Sarah and Ryan. They joined Brad, Heather, Mark and me for an evening of game playing. We played Apples to Apples and it was a blast! After they left, we tried to watch A Christmas Story, but pretty soon, we were all falling asleep, so we shut it off and headed to bed.
Today was another quiet day. Mark went back to work and the rest of us didn’t do much other than put up and decorate the Christmas tree, watch A Christmas Story and eat some more. We sure did a lot of eating this weekend! By late afternoon, Jake had gone to work, Kacey was off to a friend’s house, and Brad and Heather left to go to her parents’ house before going back to school tomorrow.
It’s so quiet in the house, and I miss the chaos already. Never thought I’d see the day when I’d welcome a chaotic household, but now I really do. It was a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.