Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving at Dad's

For many years while our four daughters were growing up, we packed up the family car and headed up to NC to enjoy Thanksgiving with my dad.  It takes about four hours to get to Dad's but the trip itself was enjoyable as long as the girls weren't fighting with each other as we sang and played travel games--scavenger hunts, the license plate game, the ABC game, etc.  With the exception of the year that DoodleBug (DD4) started throwing up about halfway into the trip and didn't stop AND the fact that each one of us got THAT bug (she even shared it with her grandparents).  Oh yeah.  Good times.

My dad is a pretty funny guy (although he wasn't really making much fun the year of the above mentioned stomach bug).  For example, he will always call someone a name (all in fun) when they goof up like Chicken Fat or Turkey.  No one is ever offended by the names because we all know it's just his way of making light of a situation or just being funny.  Our girls loved it when he called someone Turkey.  Even though it was usually so late when we got to Dad's that bedtime was almost simultaneous with our arrival, there was always a moment taken to give Paw-Paw the turkey we brought him.  The search would begin weeks before Thanksgiving and would not stop until the perfect turkey was found.  Dad has received many a turkey over the years--a center piece; oven mitts with turkeys on them (my Dad loves to cook AND he's really good at it); a door stop; a book; a tee-shirt; turkey shaped candles; and so on.  He would put on the biggest show about the gift and the girls would run up the stairs in full laughter.   

We awoke every Thanksgiving morning to the delicious aromas from the cooking of the thousands of calories impending feast.  The scent of the turkey would make my hips expand our mouths water from the very moment we opened our eyes.  Slowly, everyone would get up, get dressed and go downstairs to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade- a MUST see every Thanksgiving.  Once the table was set and the dishes prepared, the feasting began.  There was turkey, dressing, broccoli casserole, cranberries, a pickle tray, green beans, warm rolls- all topped off with pumpkin pie with whipped cream.  Back in the good old days--when the girls were little--the best part of Thanksgiving weekend was our annual visit and picture taking session with the Big Man himself--Santa!  This was not just a 'Santa's helper' either.  No indeed!  He was a man who played Santa with the real belly and beard- the REAL DEAL- and we took the girls to see him every Thanksgiving weekend.  Maybe, in some families, this type of tradition wanes as time goes speedily by and children grow up.  Not in our family.  Heck no!  The tradition stayed alive until manwhoplayedSanta REAL DEAL Santa passed away had to stay at the North Pole.  A sad day.  We do still take our Christmas pictures on Thanksgiving weekend, but not always with Santa now--Santa's helpers just don't cut it once you've had the REAL DEAL Santa!  This year, Deanie (DD2) will have to photoshop herself into the family Christmas picture because she is going with that boy MrPossessesMuchHumor to meet his family.   

Now that the girls are older, the big fun after the big feast is--GAME TIME!  Nope, I'm not talking about football- although we have the games on--what I'm talking about are FAMILY GAMES--Pictionary, Canasta, Spades, Hearts, Mad Libs, Trivial Pursuit, Yahtzee, and the like.  If it's fun and we can make some noise- we're playing it! The card games are hilarious for the most part.  Until people start getting competitively nasty and playing cards on their spouses that they have no business playing.  "I can't believe you played that card on me.  That's totally unfair!"  Trivial Pursuit is fun until the two most recently married couple starts acting like smart asses all "High-five Baby! Way to go!"--just because they win. Every. Single. Time.  Pictionary is one of my favorites.  It gets crazy when one family member has her turn to draw and people are guessing and she suddenly decides to help them out by using gestures, like Charades"You can't use gestures Maw-Maw!"  But she just can't help herself and she continues to use the gestures every time her turn comes around.  When it's Hubs' turn to draw and people guess wrong, he talks.  "No, it's more like..."  And everyone yells, "You can't talk, DAD!"  And then there's the inevitable conversation when one spouse does not guess the drawing correctly.  "How could you NOT get that?"  "Why would you think that that looks like a bicycle?!  It doesn't even remotely resemble a bike!"  "I can't believe you said hot.  NOTHING in the drawing has ANYTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH BEING HOT!"  "I can't believe that's how you draw!"  "It's better than the way you guess!"  Meanwhile, everyone who isn't on the bickering team has fallen out of their chairs laughing.  I'm telling you right now you've never seen so many people raise such a ruckus and have so much fun without the aid of alcohol.  And it's not that we're teetotalers.  Not at all.  It's just that when we stir up that much fuss without it, why risk bodily harm and incorporate it?

This is about half of the group
We have not been able to make the trip to Dad's for about three years for one reason or the other.  But this is the 'come back' year and we're looking forward to it.  Tucker is going with us, the house sitter has been arranged and the trip will be fun even though only Hubs and I will be in our car. Breezy (DD1) and BestSonInLawEver will meet us there as will Birdie (DD3) and DoodleBug (DD4) who are running in the Turkey Day 5K before they leave.  Unfortunately, this year's games are very uncertain.  My Panthers might be losing every game this season but MY COWBOYS ARE BACK!!!  And kick-off is at 4:15 on Thanksgiving Day.  Oh, but don't worry because, regardless of the type of game--football or otherwise-- you can be assured of one thing:  I WILL have my game face on!


  1. I really enjoyed this and I hope that this year is everything you remember and enjoy minus any stomach or other issues...Happy Happy Thanksgiving to you...Michelle

  2. Wonderful post.. may this Thanksgiving be filled with joy, laughter and may you make many memories, to reflect on years from now!!! HHL

  3. What a fantastic post.Not only do you convey your own family happiness but it makes others reminisce about our Thanksgivings of old(in my case Christmas) It is strange as time passes how it all changes. Son won't be with us this Christmas. He's having his first ever romantic one with Girlfriend and then her family. I'll be skulking in France with Hubby and will try not to reminisce in a maudlin way. Your family is great, yo are great and I'm so pleased I met you. Have a FANTASTIC Thanksgiving. My sincerest best wishes.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful time! If you guys are ever looking for a new board game, you have to get Apples to Apples if you don't already have it. We die laughing without fail every time we whip that one out! It helps when you have a younger child that doesn't know what certain words mean or who certain people are but you still will have a blast with that game. I was looking for it in Target one day and this huge biker dude told me I just had to get it, it's the best game ever. He was right! Hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving together!

  5. FUN! Hope you have a wonderful Thanskgiving!

  6. Safe travels!!!! I hope you have a fabulous day!!!!

  7. Loved reading about your game time. Sounds like the best part of Thanksgiving to me. I love games. My family doesn´t.... :(
    Hope you enjoy your holidays!

  8. What a blessing to have such a big family. One thing I definitely wish I had. Happy Thanksgiving!!

  9. This was a wonderful set of memories. Thanks for sharing them. I hope that your return to tradition is everything you remember - and more. Travel safely!

  10. Calling by from La bella vita as I keep seeing comments from Empty Nester there and and other sites I read. So hi from one empty nester to another, have a great thanksgiving with your family. I am going to have a browse around your blog now :)

  11. Such wonderful traditions you have had. So happy to hear that you are going to Dad's this year.
    Have a safe trip and a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  12. Sounds like you have a lot of fun. It is great to have a family that not only loves us but that we love as well. It is a true blessing!

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  13. I'm your newest follower!
    I would love a follow back!

    Thank you!

  14. Have a fabulous Thanksgiving with your family. What fun to read about your holidays with your dad and all of your 'corrections' in your sentences! we drove thru NC today on our trip and it was a mighty bit more cold than SC! But that was nothing compared to the Midwest where we are staying the night before going on to Iowa tomorrow. We quickly forget how lovely the weather is in SC compared to (my origins) the cold Midwest. Next year, I already have a place rented for the week on the beach! Now I'm off to click on your follow button!

  15. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Hope your day is wonderful!
    Blessings and BIG HUGS!

    P.S. Thank you so much for the kind birthday wishes! I appreciated hearing from you!


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! It makes me feel connected to everyone even though we may live far apart! Have a wonderful day!

Design by Imagination Designs
Illustration by MerryLittleDoodle
Background by CinnamonDove