Gramma J is a big fan of educational activities.
So, as the mercury rose above 90 on Thanksgiving Day, Gramma pulled out the Preschooler’s Busy Book.
I was just finishing up a project after spending the wee hours of the morning driving down to Gramma and Papa’s house. I signed off, “Without further ado…”
“Don’t you mean adieu?” inquired Gramma J.
Did I? Ah, mother. “When you depart from me sorrow abides and happiness takes his leave.” (Apparently from Shakespeare’s “Much Adieu About Nothing.”) Perhaps this called for a song to appropriately end a conversation of such foolish or unnecessary talk. “So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu. Ado, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yooo…”
Over the river 210 freeway and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we went. The muppets and I ventured to Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino Mountains for Thanksgiving this year. Continue reading
Thanksgiving. It’s a holiday without any pretense. No gifts, no expectations. No church (or arguments about whether everyone should go to church.) Just a Griswold family gathering with football and feasting (or in my case of the crazy Italians, foosball).
Papa has a broken foot – that one from the downstairs bar and an intense game of kick-the-ball with the boys. (Sorry Dad.) So he limped around with a walking stick while wearing black socks with sandals (I do not know why these events need to be related). Continue reading
Thanksgiving. It’s one of my favorite holidays.
The start of the Holiday Season. (NO CHRISTMAS BEFORE THANKSGIVING PEOPLES!) The arrival of autumn – and cooler temperatures (it’s getting down to 70 degrees here in SoCal).
Yeah, I’m in SoCal with the muppets. A six-hour drive narrated by twin toddlers in the backseat. (At least they weren’t screaming, “I DRIVE” the *entire* time.) They were actually quite good. Really not screechy at all. Except for when I tried to be productive and multi-task on a work-related conference call about three-hours in. Then they piped right up. Continue reading
I’m not sure how I feel about this arts & crafts project…
My godfather Mario (and GrampaStavo’s best friend – the two originally known in our family circle as “Two Gentlemen From Verona) stood among the 27 people gathered for Thanksgiving dinner. “And we, WE are the original pilgrims,” he announced proudly, raising his glass for a toast.
My dad swiftly interrupted. “And he’s the original turkey!” he shouted, pointing at Mario. Continue reading
The Muppets First Thanksgiving special was quite a day. We celebrated with family friends and counted our blessings for all we had to be thankful for many times.
The muppets are still too young to really understand what’s going on around them. They’re far more fascinated by the recent discovery that their entire little fist fits into their mouth. But much as the same as it was with Halloween, we celebrated enough for all.
Our feast was being prepared in Sacramento, at Momm’s house. Momm is my college roommate’s mother (two “Ms” since she was the second mom while I was away). I volunteered to bring Seafoam Jello and Chocolate Silk Pie. However, upon further reflection, it dawned on me that Sacramento was likely a three-hour drive and such a trek might not be phenomenally conducive for a Jello dish.
G.G.’s pumpkin bread it was! Growing up, G.G.’s pumpkin bread was the famous staple of the holiday feasts. One of my cousins moved to Italy a few years back. She attempted to recreate Thanksgiving for her fiancés family, to give them a taste of home. G.G.’s pumpkin bread was requested via airmail. It’s that good. Uncle Paul puts it on his Christmas wish list every year. And this is truly saying something for my extraordinarily non-culinary family.
Jon and I decided to depart at dawn so we could spend a full day giving thanks. Naturally, we had no need for an alarm clock. The muppets woke us up at 5 a.m.; we were out the door in record time: by 8 a.m. We’d packed the night before so we wouldn’t be scurrying around in the morning. For a non-overnight, simple day trip, we brought an entire truckload worth of stuff. Thankfully, we managed to squeeze everything into the Pilot and avoid the need for a U-Haul.
Auntie Beeca texted me saying that she might cry with excitement. So I knew right then it was the muppets she was excited to see – not me. Ah, the life of a parent. The gathering consisted of Momm, Auntie Beeca, her husband and one-year-old daughter, Leila. I was just as excited to see her little one.
Introductions were made and the celebrating began. Momm (now Nana) fussed over all her grandkids. Leila was mesmerized by the muppets. Her dad didn’t seem terribly thrilled about his daughter’s interest in two very handsome younger men.
As we waited for the bird to cook, the delicious smells began to fill the house, adding to the warmth and cheer. Certainly not fasting before the feast, Search finished his mid-morning snack and arfed. On to outfit No. 2.
We then decided to go for a walk around the lake while Nana focused on foodstuffs. As four thirty-somethings, the walk would likely have taken us 20 minutes. It took us at least an hour to get bundled up to leave the house. With freezing morning temperatures, we were taking extra care to bundle our babes. Finally, we wheeled our way out to the walkway. Then we looked at each other realizing, “It’s not really all that cold anymore…”
After a lovely walk that was really a meandering toddle, we returned to the house for the muppets lunch. Destroy’s digestive system decided to clear itself in preparation for the big meal. There really is no delicate way to change a diaper blowout when you’re a guest in someone’s home. Auntie Beeca just laughed, saying, “You’re family.”
Then it was time. The turkey was ready. There was a frantic scurry (complete with uptempo classical music) as all the sides were heated and plated. Leila seemed to favor the mashed potatoes – although I’m not sure she ate nearly as many as she decided to wear…
Food, family, friends and fun. The muppets first Thanksgiving will be one for the memory books.
I love the holidays!
Our Thanksgiving celebration was a day trip. We did not spend the night. We drove up for the feast in the morning and returned home the same evening.
It took us three hours to get up and out of the house. For the eight hour day (plus car ride), we brought:
And on top of all that, we even remembered to bring our contribution to Thanksgiving dinner.