Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving

We had a week filled with friends, food and fun. I hope you did, too. Preparing and cleaning up after a week of friends, food and fun takes work, but it is the kind of work that feels good to do.

Gregg was in Europe on a business trip for two weeks just prior to Thanksgiving. David was even able to meet him in Madrid for a long weekend of father & son time. I am so happy and thankful that this worked out! I wanted to accompany them, but to match Gregg's complicated ticket, involving stays in three cities in two different countries was out of our travel budget. Way, way out. So I enjoyed the visit vicariously and through the miracle of Face Time video chats. (Thank you, Apple!)

I have no photos of their time together. I know they exist - in a camera, somewhere in Florence, with David.

On the day before Thanksgiving (David's 20th birthday), he flew to Scotland with a group from G.U. It looks & sounds as if they had a wonderful time. If you can't be at home for your birthday, why not spend it with friends overseas - and maybe throw in a visit to a James Bond film location? They did just that, visiting the Scottish Highlands and taking a photo near the fictional property "Skyfall."

On that same day, Maribeth arrived to help me prepare for our joint family feast. Since my brother and his family needed to switch places with us this year and spend Thanksgiving in Palm Desert with our parents, Gregg and I stayed at home - without David. It was odd. I kept thinking, "I need to pack my suitcase!" because our tradition is to spend this holiday in California with my parents, celebrating David's and my mother's birthdays, along with Thanksgiving. It's a tradition we love, and we have only broken it once in the past decade (in 2006, the year that Katie was in the hospital). So it was extra special to have our beloved friends and their family as our guests on Thanksgiving, while we were missing my parents and David.

We set the table, made the side dishes and caught up on each other's news. The next day, her family and friends arrived, making up a party of 15 (including Gregg and me). We had a wonderful, potluck feast. I wish that more of my photos had turned out well (still hoping for others to share theirs):
Taylor, Jamie, Austin & Alan with MB's famous Strawberry Pretzel "Salad"
We're so thankful that, even though they moved to Kansas, our friends come back to visit as often as they are able!

Over the weekend, Gregg and I tidied up, relaxed, ate too much and finally took ourselves to Port Townsend to hike in the park and have a picnic.
Gregg made awesome turkey-cranberry sandwiches for our picnic
Stopping for a moment to snap a photo
View from the bluffs
View from the bunker at the beach
Barracks (recognize this from "An Officer & A Gentleman"?)
It was a glorious day to be outdoors.

Now, I'm going to make soup, work on blankets for the hospital, catch up on correspondence and start the preparations for Christmas...and send wishes that you will have a great week.


Elizabeth said...

While I'm sure you missed your parents at your feast, I loved that you had a potluck Thanksgiving. That seems perfect. As always, the photos of where you live are gorgeous and peaceful.

Happy Christmas preparing!

ChiTown Girl said...

I'm so glad you had such a wonderful holiday. I love how much joy there always is beaming from photos of you and Gregg.


Leslie said...

What a beautiful feast! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Looks like you had an amazing spread of love. xoxo

Karen said...

Your views are so stunning. I love them. They are so inspiring and that's a blessing. Holiday changes are hard to adapt to...good job rolling with the new, Karen. It will be hard being home for Christmas--so I am working extra hard to make it comforting.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Hey, wait is that Richard Gere I see out there??? :)
I love so much that you and Gregg are so active together...dang if I could get 'someone' to walk with me. I suppose I need to walk all the way to WA to do that? :)
I'm glad that Gregg and David were able to meet up; and on the other side of the world! Who would have thunk it?
I'm glad you had a nice Thanksgiving and I do hope David and your Mom both had lovely birthdays.
Loved seeing your colorful chairs.
Oh, and is MB passing off "pretzel salad" as some sort of Jello mold? I am leery of her now. LOL!!!! Really...what is is??
Love to you and yours!

karen gerstenberger said...

Suz, if you come out here I would walk for miles with you - at least 3 miles a day - but we go rain or shine! ;)

Maribeth's strawberry pretzel "salad" is really a dessert. It's like a cheesecake on top of a crushed pretzel-sugar-and-butter crust, topped with strawberry jello filled with strawberries. It's impossible to stop eating it, once you start. She insists it's a salad, but we all call it dessert!

Thank you for the sweet birthday wishes - they both had great days, in their respective countries! I can hardly wait to see him...just a few more weeks...

Karen East, I know you will make the holidays so very hospitable for everyone who comes into contact with you.

Thanks for the comments, all. We are blessed to live near such natural beauty and we do appreciate it, even more so when it's sunny!

AnnDeO said...

Our first Thanksgiving with just the four of us happened this year. I'm glad you had a joyful day regardless of the new changes.