A Gusty Year



Last week, we filled up the house with family.  My parents, who hadn't been to visit since 2018, came up from Oregon for the whole week and that gave us time to do more than just share a Thanksgiving meal.

We had a girls' tea on Tuesday, complete with clotted cream and scones, finger sandwiches, and strawberries.  We used the teacup collection that belonged to my mother-in-law Esther -- now gone 28 years.  Tea is more fun with a six-year old girl in the family, but she wasn't the only one who was into it, I can assure you.

We also managed to stop by Swanson's Nursery for some holiday spirit and hot chocolates.

For Thanksgiving we set two tables to fit everyone in, and we didn't skimp on making everyone's favorite side dishes.  It took a group effort, but by 4 p.m. we had a buffet full of amazing dishes to eat.  Our "turkey" was vegetarian turkey slices with herbed stuffing and of course gravy and cranberry sauce . . . then we had mashed potatoes, thinly sliced potatoes (aka Byron's au gratin potatoes), creamed Brussels sprouts, butter pecan yams, green bean casserole with extra onions, and hasselback butternut squash with sage butter. Plus, the butterflake rolls.  It may have been our best Thanksgiving yet.  Then we had the finale of pies -- pumpkin, marrionberry, and French apple.  

As you can see, nobody starved.  

On Friday, as is our tradition, rain or shine, we went to get our Christmas tree.  It was a rainy and windy day -- so much so that we lost power at the house, which gave us an excuse to take grandmpa and grandpa to the Bay Cafe for breakfast. 

On Saturday, we celebrated River's 6th birthday with a brownie sundae bar and birthday gifts.  It was quite nice that grandma and grandpa could be in town for her birthday.
Like the weather, this year has been a season of gusts -- gusts that nearly knock you off your feet . . . and sometimes actually do.  Members of this family have faced health problems, COVID-19, moves and major life changes, quitting jobs, finding new jobs, and staying put in stressful jobs, and also grandpa Herman's passing . . .

Not all these things are behind us, but our time together reminded me that great comfort is found in time together, sharing foods we love, and reminding ourselves that we have each other.


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