I am a big fan of tradition. Eating the same green bean casserole each year, crunching on Grandma's crinkle cut carrot sticks, and fighting with my brother over the black olives. Watching my dad spoon Miracle Whip on his favorite green jello (lime, with peas, green olives, celery, and onions....no, I will not be posting the recipe), as he tempts the grandkids into just TRYING it. Seeing my mom whip up the perfect gravy while the sound of the electric knife carving the turkey in the background combines with the tinkle of silverware getting placed on the table. Looking around the table, at all of those faces I love so well (and listening to the grandkids argue over whose turn it is to start the prayer).
For quite a few years, we have been unable to enjoy this wonderful day of Thanksgiving with our families. Retail life makes it hard to travel for the holidays, and when we opened the store at the MOA it was impossible. So the last several Thanksgivings have been spent with me in the kitchen all day, and the boys relaxing. We have shared our meal late in the afternoon, and relished just being together, our own little family. We would watch a classic family movie-Swiss Family Robinson, or the Harry Potter series. I would talk to my mom in the morning, while we were cooking, and we would both end the call choked up, wishing we could be together.
I have been flying high ever since I learned that this year, we could make the trip home. Sales have been slow, and while we don't like that situation, it does allow us to head home. While Charlie and I will be able to spend the entire weekend in Bemidji, Mike will need to be back Friday night to help out at our store. The joys of business ownership.
And to make it all extra special, Heather is hosting the entire family at her new home. It will be more than just Thanksgiving this year, as we will toast my sweet sister's new life. And I get to be her sous chef!
I will be happy in the heart of my family, making Christmas cookies, gathering boughs in the woods for making wreaths, hugging my sweet Grandma, and helping my sister decorate her new home for the holidays, for the very first time.
We have ever so much to be thankful for.