The spread was unlike any Thanksgiving Feast I’d ever seen. It was… eclectic almost. Each dish came with it a glimpse into the soul of the preparer. Whether it was cornbread stuffing, Okinawan sweet potatoes, stuffing with Italian sausauge and herbs, smoked turkey, pie crusts without the filing, or that must-have cranberry sauce deserving of a trip back to the house in order to retrieve the forgotten goods… the meal was a portrait of friends and budding community. With families an ocean (or two) away, the five of us couples, a friend, and seven kiddos (with more on the way) between us gathered in the name of thankfulness and ate.
The evening tapered off after a riveting game of Apples to Apples where I revealed way too much of my sinister cynical side and the last glass of sparkling cranberry or hard earned wine was sipped (there wasn’t a corkscrew to be found and so our engineer friend Daniel proceeded to open a bottle of wine by wrapping it in a towel and banging the bottom of the bottle against a tree until the cork came out. True story). I am thankful for evenings like these – outdoors under the Hawaiian skies with palm trees grazing the skyline and a table full of good friends.
We took our bundled baby home and during the car ride, I frantically called my family at the cabin in hopes they were still awake. I mistook my cousin’s voice for my grandma’s, but she didn’t care because she announced that she’s ENGAGED!!!! It was a beautiful cap to the evening, talking on speaker phone with mom, cousin, aunt, and grandma with Ellie nursing at my side. They listened as Ellie nursed, and then cooed and gurggled before nodding off to sleep. I miss my family so much – my Bakersfield family and my Oregon family, and it sometimes kills me that their granddaughter is so far away, but last night I couldn’t have been more thankful for modern technology and a wonderful conversation with the women in my family (where, by the way, I learned that twins are in our family. Awesome).
And just before my eyes closed in deep slumber, I was reminded that I am so thankful to be married to a man whose last words before sleep were, “I love you Annie. Happy Thanksgiving.”