I love Thanksgiving...I always have. My mom always hosts both sides of the family. They have between 25-35 people. There is entirely too much food, too many people in the house, it gets too hot in the house with the too many people, it's too loud to visit, IT'S AWESOME!!
Mom has a super cool tradition of a tablecloth. She started the tablecloth in 1985, but back dated to include the previous seven Thanksgivings. The cloth is really just a white, flat bed sheet, but it has been turned into my favorite piece of family history. Everyone who eats Thanksgiving at her house has signed the tablecloth, then adds the year for each holiday spent at her table. There are old preachers, and family friends, old boyfriends turned husbands, and old boyfriends turned ex's. There are some loved ones written in my mom's handwriting because they had already passed before the 1985 debut. There is my name in kindergarten writing - you know, the "arms" of the E don't touch the rest of the letter...awesome.
In 2000 I missed my first Thanksgiving because I was in ICU. That gives you some indication on the importance of the tradition. I was recovering from surgery in ICU, IN THE HOSPITAL, and my mom and dad sent a cooler and my two cousins to visit and hosted Thanksgiving at their house! It's important stuff, people!
Last year, the babes were three weeks old, and we didn't plan on going home for Thanksgiving. Mom and Dad were going to come out here - it was to be the first Thanksgiving missed. We decided to go home! They ended up not hosting it, and we ate at Aunt Jan's and then visited the rest of the family at Terryland. It was lovely - but not the same. I had high hopes for this year. It was back...we were all going to be together, and it was going to be awesome!
Enter the stomach bug of 2011.
Mom, the girls, and I arrived in Laverne late Monday night. Lauren wasn't quite herself Tuesday afternoon, and then got sick to her stomach Tuesday night. By the time my family of four (Dan joined us on Wednesday) pulled out of Laverne on Saturday we had spread that tummy bug to 15 people. SO SAD. Not because we were sick - we're all fine now. Not because we were patient zero and that's embarrassing and sad. It's sad because Thanksgiving just wasn't the same. The Terry's still came, the Eells' said 'no thank you very much!'. The food was all fabulous and in abundance - but I couldn't do my normal amount of damage because of my still recovering tummy. There were still 21 people, but it wasn't that loud, and didn't really get too uncomfortably hot in the house. It just wasn't the same.
I see a pattern. I'm messing up Thanksgiving!! And it's so important to me...
I have high hopes for 2012. Put it on your calendar people...we'll be back, and it'll be legendary!