Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving, 2011 - Part 1

Those of you who have been with me for a while know that in our family, we have a tradition (at least, since 2007) of having a Thanksgiving family reunion on the weekend before the actual Thanksgiving holiday. It's a bit rushed, but it avoids the holiday traffic, the cost of travel is usually less than it is the following week ... and the stores haven't been sold out of whatever you need.

We all converged on my sister Lisa's house in Pittsburgh this past weekend for the annual reunion, and - in spite of pinkeye, various creeping crud illnesses, and the Construction Zone from Hell between the hotel and Lisa's house - everyone had a great time. And there are pictures!

The out-of-towners always stay at the same hotel not far from Lisa's house. We like it because it's clean, friendly, has free breakfast, and has a big pool, which is good for helping children burn off excess energy (of which they usually have lots). They do cringe, though, when we all descend on the breakfast area at once ...

Leya and Marcy really like the pool ...

Cousin Eddie set the table with the good family china ... Great Grandpa still can't believe that so much of it has survived so many years of family dinners!

Our son Matt made it back to Pennsylvania from Los Angeles for the first time in several years, and was a big hit with all the children. Even with Elise. She was glad to see him. Really ...

I usually end up having to carve the turkey. This year, I decided to try a new technique I learned from watching back episodes of Dexter ...

After dinner there's usually a gather-around-the-table game of some sort. This year it was "Apples to Apples," a word-comparison game which was a big hit with everyone ... except when their answer didn't get picked by the judge ...

It was a long day, and both Opa and Elise were pretty pooped out as the evening wore on ...

On Sunday morning, we all cleaned up for the traditional family pictures. We started off with the whole group (except for our brothers Paul, who wasn't able to get off his shift as an EMT, and Mark, who wasn't able to come up from Florida this year) ...

And finally, the other picture that sums up all the things Agnes and I have to be thankful for - the picture with all five of our grandchildren ...

Has Elise got a cute scowl or what?

And that was our first Thanksgiving for the year. I'm always glad that we're close enough together (well, mostly) that we can get together and have this family blast each year. It's important for everyone to know that they're part of a larger family, and that we all love each other. In a world full of political dumbassity, violence, and hatred, it's good to reflect that there really are still things out there for which we can be thankful.

Later this week, we'll do the whole thing again when we celebrate Thanksgiving with a group of our friends here at home in Disneyland-on-the-Potomac.

But for now, it's time to get ready to go back to work. I'm not complaining, though ... I still have a job - and nowadays, that's something to be really thankful for.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.

Bilbo

5 comments:

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

What a wonderful holiday.
Happy Thanksgiving Bill.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Very clever to do an early Thanksgiving -- fewer hassles, less crowds! Happy Thanksgiving, Bilbo, last weekend and Thursday!

John said...

Beautiful family, my friend. Happy Thanksgiving.

Mike said...

That first picture... flannel shirt, blue jeans, dark hair. If was 30 years ago I'd swear I was there too.

Pep said...

Very nice, Bilbo....Happiest of One or Two Thanksgivings to you and yours!