I had a pre-Thanksgiving weekend with my brother’s family. I know his one son’s family very well, as they lived within driving distance until I moved to Texas last year. His other son lives much farther away. I had seen his children only one or two (depending on their age) other times. The oldest is almost 17. The youngest is 9 — the same age as my grandson Kevin. They are so much alike; it is uncanny!!! I hope they can meet someday! I am sure they would be instant buddies. My brother and sister-in-law had not told anyone I would be there, so it was fun to see their expressions when they discovered I was around the corner inside the door. To add to the fun, I called Mark while they were enroute, never letting on where I was, though the living room grandfather clock bonged in the background. I feared it could have given me away. It was wonderful to catch up with Mark’s two talented kids and to get to know Michael’s fascinating four!
My brother had prepared some mental activities for everyone to take part in. First, he had everyone around the table tell about a memorable Thanksgiving experience. We were to think about the past year and share what we are most thankful for. Since Michael’s children really did not know me at all, Gary told all the grandkids they needed to spend some time in conversation with Great Aunt Nina and find out something about her which they could relate back to everyone. I made their assignment a bit easier by coming up with stories which would be meaningful to each one.
Levi (9) — Your Grandpa is my big brother, and we had another brother older than your Grandpa. I was the spoiled little sister who got into your Grandpa’s things. One especially naughty thing I did, when he was a teen, was to sneak into his bedroom and read his diary! Levi asked if Grampa knew that. I told him, “Grampa didn’t know it then, but he knows it now.”
Graci (11) — One Sunday night when my family arrived for church, there were some baby kittens which had been left at the door. Your Grandpa played with them until he had to go into church. There was one kitty — all black with a white tuft under the neck — which he particularly liked. He took it into the basement of the church and set it on top of an upright piano hoping it would not be able to run away. After the evening service, he went back to the basement, and the kitty had stayed on top of the piano. He told our parents he would walk home that night. He did that to avoid giving them the opportunity to prevent him from bringing the kitty home. He decided on the way home he would tell our Mom and Dad the kitty was for me. He knew they would fall for that line, because they gave me anything I wanted. My first experience with the kitty, he was contentedly purring as I petted him. I said, “Listen! You can hear his motor run!” His strategy worked! They let us keep the kitten! They couldn’t deny me the cute kitty! My Daddy named him Pester for obvious reasons.
Allysa (13) — Your Grandpa was shopping for a Christmas present for me. He saw a long row of large, stuffed dogs on a shelf — all identical except for one. It sat crooked. He told me he chose the lopsided one, because it matched my personality.
Jared (12) — I told Jared I moved to Texas last year — to the land of the cowboys and warm weather. The reason I moved is that my son and his family of three sons live there. I also told him I lost my daughter five years ago, and her son, who is Levi’s age, lives in North Carolina. He spends summers with me.
Ethan (14) — Your dad was only 3 when I got married. An older nephew was the ring bearer, and little nephew Mark was the Bible bearer. He was very young for this task of walking down an excessively long aisle. We positioned your grandmother at the second pew behind my parents, right at the front, so that she could encourage him down the aisle. He started out just fine, but when he saw his Mommy, he tossed the Bible and ran to her!
Caleb (16) — Caleb’s birthday is December 23, so I told him — you share your birthday with my son who was born on the same day! My birthday is three days after Christmas. I also told him a story: When you were very young, my daughter, her husband, and I came to your city to attend the wedding of my daughter’s best high school friend. Since you lived nearby, we visited you as well. We went for a walk in the neighborhood with you scooching on a riding toy. I remember you had a mind of your own, were very smart, and kept us on our toes to keep you safe!
By mandate from the grandparents, all electronics were kept in suitcases. Jared and I played Rook against Ethan and Caleb. Caleb is an excellent card player! We all played with the puppy, Selah. Maybe I want a British Cream Retriever? She certainly is cute! We enjoyed Ethan’s forte and creativity with technology at church on Sunday, as he was in charge of the sound and light board. Gracie gave me a cute little triangular pocket container which she had designed and sewn. She obviously has her mother’s creative talent. The girls were helpful in the kitchen, and the guys helped outside with a project of cleaning up Grandpa’s fallen leaves. However, the snow and cold hampered the job by covering the leaves and freezing Mark’s fancy equipment he had brought across the state in a trailer. We all watched a tear-jerker Hallmark movie — “A Dog Named Christmas.” http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/adognamedchristmas Highly recommended! Keep a box of tissues handy! The tears are not gender specific. However, they may be age related.
What are your favorite memories of Thanksgiving?