A Thanksgiving Come & Gone…

Sketch of Thanksgiving in camp (of General Lou...
Sketch of Thanksgiving in camp (of General Louis Blenker) during the US Civil War on Thursday November 28th 1861. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, now…Thanksgiving weekend has come and gone, and family I see once or twice a year have returned to their homes in Ohio, Nebraska, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. Our little spot here in northern Illinois was virtually bursting with life—young, old, and in between—beginning Wednesday afternoon.

All of the preparations and planning seem to have whisked right on by at light speed, with excellent results. The two twenty-pound turkeys and dressing I cooked on Wednesday and Thursday turned out perfect, along with the all of the other culinary delights that Carolyn put together for our traditional Thursday meal.

As we all were gathered together, each of us sharing wonderful conversation, many laughs and smiles, and thoughts of what all was going on in our lives, I realized just how much I have to be thankful for. And I have made it a goal to write more often about those many things and no longer take them for granted.

Carolyn and I have been hosting this “gathering” every year for longer than we can recall (at least 25 years, at last guess), and we look forward to it every year. And every year, family from near and far makes the trip to our humble abode, resulting in a few days of silliness, snacks, cold drinks, delicious meals, conversation, and college football and Blackhawks hockey on TV.

Today—Sunday—like all Sundays at the end of Thanksgiving weekend, seems empty and much too quiet. The leftovers populate the fridge, and the washer seems to be in overdrive, catching up on bath and dish towels, almost as soon as the last traveler is packed up and headed out of our driveway for their return journey to home.

Just the two of us, alone in our quiet house once more, we go about the tasks of getting things put back together. I spend a good amount of the morning getting all the card table chairs, tables, and plastic cups and plates back in the Thanksgiving box to haul to the shelf in the basement, where it will rest until next year at the same time. Then I help my son, who has come up from his home, load up his truck with the remaining things we had borrowed from him. He and my two grandsons eat some leftover pizza from last night but can’t stay long as there are things that they need to get done down at their house.

Through it all, there’s a sense of relief that the weekend was a success and that everything “worked” as we’d planned. Yet, at the same time, there is a feeling of melancholy that it’s over much too soon. Watching the Bears’ game doesn’t make it any better, either, as they squander opportunities to win, eventually losing late in overtime.

Carolyn has busied herself with handling the wash and bringing me the clean things to help fold. We even get all of the autumn decorations—outside and inside—taken down and stored away, making room for the Christmas things very soon. Eventually, Carolyn and I take some time away from our cleaning up duties and heat up what remains of the leftovers and watch Criminal Minds, which was DVR’d from last Wednesday.

Late in the afternoon, I finally come into my office, which for the past several days has been where my daughter and her husband have had their Aero bed, suitcases, and their kid’s suitcases. I hurriedly look back over things on my desk from when I was last seated in front of my MacBook and realize that I’m a bit behind in my blog posts. But I did manage to reach my goal of over 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo these past weeks, and I’m thankful for pushing hard during the first weeks of the month to get that word count up and climbing every day. This makes me smile and kind of brightens the day once again.

Now with the busy-ness of November behind me, I can get squared away for the month of December and get back to some sense of a daily writing routine. And there is still much to write. But for now, I’m simply focusing on those many things of which I’m thankful. I hope everyone else has plenty to be thankful for, as well….CortlandWriter

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5 thoughts on “A Thanksgiving Come & Gone…

  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday. It’s a lot of work having company. We hosted a Christmas once with 19 people. Busy but so much fun. You’re right–it’s a strange mix of feelings when everyone has finally left. Bet you and your wife deserve a good night’s sleep with all that cleaning up!

    1. Carrie: Thanks for your comments. We have the place back in shape, and I even managed some editing time this morning. Still a busy month ahead as Christmas approaches. Hope all is well with you. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jill. It was a wonderful gathering of nearly 30 people. Happy to report that the house is back in order and now we look ahead to Christmas–without any guests or other events! Hope your Thanksgiving was good. 🙂

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