The leaves are falling in North Carolina; I know because I saw them a few weeks ago when visiting with my parents near Charlotte. My sister moved there over twenty years ago and a family tradition was born. Many of my five siblings and spouses converged on Sandy’s farm for Thanksgiving and the annual raking of the leaves.

What fun! Many of us took to the yard, raking, piling or toting leaves over to the woods for compost. A rogue brother might toss you into a pile of them, making more of a mess than not. It was good fun out of doors, while the brothers who envisioned themselves as gourmet chefs tempted our palates with the traditional dishes and a few fancy sides and desserts too! I have many fond memories of these wonderful family get-togethers.

The family has expanded; we all have children and grandchildren now, making the pilgrimage to the farm more difficult. This summer however, my mother and father moved there from Pennsylvania. An added attraction, my nephew Scott is stationed on the coast with the Marines. It started out small and suddenly exploded to where most of my brothers and sisters, their kids and grandkids are all returning to celebrate Thanksgiving!

Dave and I had planned to stay here; son Jason was due to return from his Navy duty in Dubai, but then was extended until this summer. Then Cory asked us to puppy-sit for his St. Bernard. I couldn’t imagine driving ten hours in a Nissan Cube with a hundred pound slobberer and two freaking-out little yapper dogs. It would cost in excess of $600 in gas to take the RV. Plus, our kids in Alabama invited us and we declined.

They’re all exchanging excitement on Facebook and I started feeling a little blue, no gratitude in that kind of attitude! Instead of whining, I’m planning a nice dinner for my sweet husband and me, quietly celebrating the holiday here in our own home. Well, as quietly as we can with the three dogs.

That’s the way it is this year. We’ll walk puppies, eat turkey and wrap up some leftovers for when Cory and Jana return from their cruise. Perhaps we can head to North Carolina over the Christmas holidays when brother Tom and his family visit my parents.

Many families don’t get along like ours. I’m very grateful for five wonderful siblings and their families, as well as our own kids. I won’t be there in person but each will be in my thoughts and prayers for safe travel. Rake a few leaves for me!

Posted on: November 22, 2011
Categories: Blog Posts

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