Thanksgiving brings some fond memories of large family gatherings. Some included all the in-laws and cousins. But there are also memories of days of work with crabby people. Work that was followed by the unspoken agreement that strong family disagreements would not be mentioned.
But those disagreements, some quite fundamental, rumbled through the assembled crowd like a silent tsunami. The tension level was always high. Don’t put Grandpa X next to cousin Y. No card games. No competitive activities.
You know the drill.
So now, the tradition has evolved into a more informal, gentle fixture. It doesn’t have to be on a given day or at a given time. It doesn’t have to have a huge meal. It doesn’t require days of preparation. It doesn’t even have to happen. No tension, no guilt, no arguments.
This year we headed to my daughter’s home. I did the cooking.
We had ordered a “boxed” meal that sent all the ingredients and all the instructions. Easy, peasy!
I cooked and my daughter and son-in-law rearranged the living room furniture! It was a hoot. As I chopped veggies and boiled the ubiquitous potatoes, I listened to them discuss the pros and cons of furniture placement. A civil engineer and a lawyer logically discussing the economies of movement.
As I said, a hoot!
We ate in the living room watching movies. Relaxed and easy. Laughing and quoting “The Princess Bride”.
And at the end of the day, we watched the moon rise through the clouds.
Like I said. Easy.