Last week for Thanksgiving we made what’s becoming our annual tradition of driving down to North Carolina to be with family. Specifically, the family that gave me shelter while I was waiting two years for my husband to live with us in the States. More specifically, the family that helped raise my son with me and should be considered parents and siblings rather than aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
Take for instance “Grandpa Joe”. (first photo) He sure is a character. Grandpa Joe and my son get along just like family, although he’s not blood related to us at all. He is the father of my cousin’s wife. My son doesn’t need to know the specifics of it. All he knows is that Grandpa Joe can be messed with in ways others would have turn against long ago.
And then there are the next generations of cousins – 2nd, 3rd once removed, and not officially, to be exact. Eight of them all together for Thanksgiving. My son was the only one who wasn’t a teenager. So how did the fun times evolve? Into playing “I’m gonna getcha” and then using something called Snapchat which is some young person communication I don’t have a grasp of. (second photo) It was hilarious.
Then there was the handmade. Having not so much money to throw around and a family that wouldn’t want it anyway, I decided to use my making skills towards my family. You know, for those who have everything they need and more? A garland showing photos of their beautiful faces with my son and shadowed letters spelling HAPPY HOLIDAYS was the perfect thing for them. (third photo) I carefully backed each photo with cardstock, punched some holes through each one, and used baker’s twine (and plenty of it) so that it can be used in multiple ways over the coming years (decades?).
And finally, the holiday wouldn’t be complete without a simply set table. (fourth photo) If you can guess by now, my taste is a little more over the top, but the elegant restraint on the table for all those 17 in attendance was perfect.
What’s not pictured – what can never be pictured – are the relationships that breaking bread together strengthens. We felt blessed to see many of the people in North Carolina we know we would have a hard time living without. All these antics… it gives us reason to go back to the grind when the work days come.