It used to be that we would pack ourselves into the truck on Thanksgiving and head off 'over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go' (as the old song goes.) Our river being, the grand Connecticut river and, well, woods are more than plentiful around here... there isn't a route that we could take that wouldn't mostly journey through brown, bare branched and crunchy looking forests, interspersed with stubby, harvested corn fields - sometimes, lightly powdered with snow.
Then, after a grand day and a perfect feast, we would bundle ourselves, sleepy and belly-laden, back into our truck and we would head back home. Christmas would suddenly appear with twinkling lights on homes along the way - including some really spectacular displays!!! We would listen to Beary Christmoose, which, as you could probably guess, is a CD of Christmas classics with a fuzzy twist - geared for children. (Aaaah! Children's music that adults actually like listening to, too! =]) Then, we would listen to Garrison Keillor's Christmas CD - Now it is Christmas again. It's a long drive - almost two hours - and the music fit perfectly. It started out as a way to soothe overexcited and overtired little boys (the first CD has magical properties!) but, before we knew it, it was tradition. I can't hear the opening phrases of these two recitals without welling up with tears. ('tho.... I always try to hide it. ;-))
Well, now what? Grandmother lives next door! (It's been three years, now?) There isn't even a rivulet to hop over and we'd have to go the loooooong way around to go through our woods. =/
.... and, yet.... Thanksgiving at Grandmother's house is still always a warm holiday!
We had a lovely Thanksgiving! The whole New England contingent of the family gathered (with a few extra boyfriends tossed in - it's like they're part of the family, anyway. ;-))
Since mom was cooking, I got to set the table. Happy me! It's one of my favorite things to do. I had just enough time to take a few hurried pictures as the feast was beginning and everyone was coming to the table.
and, what can I say?
We still haven't listened to our traditional CDs; so, Christmas hasn't kicked into any sort of reality for us, yet.
the deepest tradition is intact!
It was time at the table, again... spent with family... laughing - comfortable - delicious - warm - oh, so familiar and, yet, oh, so special!
I don't have to even stop to think what I'm grateful for - it was handed to me on a figurative platter!