You are Cordially Invited to Join me and my Family for Thanksgiving

by Deborah Owen

*Knock  knock
      Oh, you did come! I’m so glad! Let me take your coat and introduce you.
That’s my husband on the right, and that’s my twin on the left in the teal sweater. (Actually, I don’t have a twin. That’s really me, but it messes up my story to say that. lol)

That’s my son, sitting next to his dad, and Mom is next to me. *whispers under breathShe’s 96, and knockdown cantankerous, so don’t look at ‘er cross-eyed.

That’s my dear mother-in-law’s head in the foreground but she’s with the Lord now, and there at the end of the table, stealing the show, is our oldest grandson, now age 25. Standing on the left is our hostess, daughter Dory. This is her house.

These are only a few of the gang. We’re scattered throughout the house. Not present in this room but somewhere nearby is our darling daughter-in-law and son-in-law, three more grandchildren, and our first great-grandchild. Just wait until you see him! And scattered throughout five rooms are a number of friends and extended family, so wander about and mingle freely.

Don’t you love the smell of spicy pumpkin pie? Every time someone fans the door, the aroma titillates my nose. On Thanksgiving, there’s no such thing as a bad odor.

Look at all the food! And not one drop will go to waste. Dory’s goal is to send Thanksgiving dinner home with every person so they can relive the memories the next day. To get this much food, the whole family pitches in. You’ll find turkey, roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn casserole, green beans, dressing, macaroni and cheese, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole and homemade yeast rolls. Makes me drool, and that doesn’t count the pies, cakes and brownies. We place the food on the cabinet tops, so it’s all self-serve.

Stop by the long, narrow table in the living room that holds cookies, fudge, candy, shrimp, various kinds of crackers, and a cheese ball to nibble on. This is the one day of the year kids can eat candy before their meal!

Fireplaces are lit in the library and enclosed sun porch. Feel free to meander through the house and chitchat with everyone.

Your place setting is marked with your name, and you’ll find a little memento from Dory next to your glass. It’s fun to find your seat and see what your little gift is. Before we eat, our son-in-law will read Psalms 100 and ask the Lord’s blessing on bounty that we share with those who have nowhere to go on Thanksgiving.

About 22 people will stand in line to heap their plates high. We don’t mind if you buck the line, so when it’s time, squeeze in front of me.

You’ll love the atmosphere. You won’t hear a swear word or a dirty joke, and you won’t find people who are mad at each other or aren’t on speaking terms. Come to think of it, you won’t even find a divorced person here. We were blessed to get it right the first time around (although we admit to bashing each others’ heads in from time to time… just not in public).

On Thanksgiving, we eat and chat for about an hour, joke around, take pictures, and catch up on the latest news. We will inevitably talk about how fast the grandchildren have grown up, but not so much that they still don’t draw pictures in Aunt Dory’s plush carpet and erase them with their feet.

By the way, the bathroom is that-a-way. It stays rather busy and the walls are thin, so if you get bored, sitting in the room next to it can be downright entertaining.

You’ll have to forgive me during clean-up, which takes two hours. If we weren’t waddling around with tight belts, an hour would be enough. While we’re doing that, grab a couple of plastic bowls over there and fill them with leftovers. Here’s a Sharpie to write your name on the lid.

*Three hours later*
Ah, finally. All done. I’m so full! I hope I never see another turkey again, but actually, it’s the three pieces of pie that I’ll be sitting on for the next year.
After the crowd thins out, the others might scare up a euchre game. I usually play piano while Mom dozes and Dory’s father-in-law snores. He’s a hoot. If I quit, he rousts out of his dreams long enough to say, “Keep playing. I love it,” so I play on.

What? You have to leave? So soon? I’m so sorry. I hope you had a good time and it was wonderful meeting you. Please come again next year!

*Waving as you pull away.

Hey, wait! You forgot your bowls of food!

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