We found some Thanksgiving decor. And we did some cooking. We wished aloud for Mother's expertise at nearly every turn -- where's the right pan for this, the correct dish for that? She'd know in an instant where to look, and -- even after all these years -- we did not. We did the best we could, and we had a very nice (if not perfectly executed) celebration with our stepdad at their home.
I ended up going home to get my own pan for roasting veggies, giving my brother-in-law pause prior to it going into the oven, making him wonder if I was ready for psychoanalysis! Haha. I was inspired. It's a big pan, so my quantities were different (more); from the left it's carrots (about a dozen), parsnips (around 9), beets (3 large), celery root (1 large), and sweet potato (2 large), with a red onion, too. That's a lot of chopping and it was totally worth it -- absolutely delicious.
Annie made turkey & stuffing, Brian made mashed potatoes, Katie made Mom's traditional corn pudding, Ali made cranberry sauce and chocolate chip cookies (also provider of chocolate milk and eggnog!), Maddy made cornbread (also for last night's soup supper), I made the roasted veggies, Rusty made an apple and a pumpkin pie... and it was all pretty fabulous.
Meanwhile, Joe and Brian located the tree and put it up, along with some wreaths for the front window & door. Annie strung the lights and began decorating, and the girls continued when they arrived. My mother has enough decorations for at least three enormous trees. I swear. We used barely a fraction.
This morning I finalized a ScanCafe order that's been pending. This isn't the exact photo of my grandpa I was looking for amongst them to post today, and it wasn't even Thanksgiving -- it was probably June, and definitely at the cabin -- but it is one of the times in my life when I truly felt thankfulness. My grandfather, recovering from a stroke, was re-learning to read; here he's reading one of our all-time favorites, Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs, to Ali (on his lap), my cousin's stepdaughter, and Katie (far right) -- my girls are probably 3 and 5. That recovery was difficult for my grandpa, but this was a huge milestone -- he loved his grandkids and great grandkids so much, and he was so happy to be able to read to them.
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving/Thursday, as the case may be.
It sounds like you made a really great Thanksgiving. Remembering your mom by being in her home and cooking her dishes is the best way to handle it, I think. And just think - you never have to face the first Thanksgiving without her again.
Posted by: Carole | 28 November 2014 at 07:45 AM
Sounds like a good day and a great meal. The first holiday after a death is so hard. I agree with Carole that celebrating in her home was a good way to go.
Posted by: Ruth | 28 November 2014 at 08:26 AM
What lovely pictures, especially the one of your grandpa.
Posted by: claudia | 28 November 2014 at 09:26 AM
Your step-dad must be so grateful for your family and the joy your family brought to his home. It sounds like there was love abound at your celebration!
The picture of your grandfather is wonderful and brought a flood of memories, as I have a photo of my grandfather (after a stroke) speaking to my 3 year old sister. The love between them is very clear.
Posted by: margene | 28 November 2014 at 09:45 AM
Tears in my eyes. I know what those firsts are like. Sending so much love to all of you.
Posted by: Steph VW | 28 November 2014 at 11:23 AM
You have inspired me to delegate parts of the Christmas dinner prep. No reason my two sons cannot handle parts of it. Looks like you guys had a GREAT time!
Posted by: kmkat | 28 November 2014 at 01:06 PM
Oh, Vicki. I have tears in my eyes. What a beautiful post -- and what a beautiful way to honor your mom and your family. XOXOXO
Posted by: Kym | 29 November 2014 at 08:37 AM
what a lovely day - full of family and good food...and wonderful memories (and twinkle lights!!)
Posted by: Mary | 30 November 2014 at 05:21 AM