Thanksgiving 2010: Gorgeous, delicious turkey roasted to perfection by my awesome Bro In Law, Dan. As usual he and Beth were the perfect hosts and we brought along some sides. The highlight this year for my contribution was the cauliflower gratin but I'm sure the kids would say the Chex mix. Pam and Ro were also here and made it that much more special and fun. Poor Ro had emergency oral surgery the day before the biggest eating holiday of the year, but soldiered through and was as sweet as ever.
Blacktop Friday: This is what I call the Friday after Thanksgiving when you hit the road to visit family instead of hitting the stores. We travelled to Beaufort County and saw nearly all my extended fam and it was great. That, combined with an indoor pool at the hotel, well, for the kids it was some kind of nervana. We got to see their newest three-month-old cousin Josiah, at his smiley, bouncy best.
Monday after Thanksgiving: (I haven't thought of a catchy name for that one yet) We sort of came crashing down to reality. Everyone was kind of keyed up and couldn't get to sleep that night, especially Nate. He kept getting up and informing us of every bathroom trip, and every random little noise and finally he burst into sobs saying that he missed Grandpa, Uncle Dewey and Granny. He might've been just overtired but Good Lord my heart broke into a million pieces. Mark held him for a little while and told him we all missed them, and it was fine to cry about it sometimes. I rubbed his back and told him I knew how hard it was, but I promised things would look better in the morning. And, mercifully, they did.
What I miss: My dad carrying raw pecans this time of year in his pocket. I never really liked the taste of them raw myself, but I would still pick out a few when he cracked them for me. That was the most fascinating part, really. He would take two or three and crack them against eachother in his fist. I would try and try to crack them like that, but even into adulthood, I failed miserably. So, I would just hand them back to him and he would gladly oblige me.
Today I saw a fellow church member who lost her dad in early fall. I gave her a hug, and we commiserated on how kid-like, unprepared and orphaned losing a parent can make you feel, no matter how old you are. She was telling me about her little, unexpected "waves" of grief, how they always come without warning, just when things are going OK. She told me, "Yesterday I was out for a run in our neighborhood and passed some pecan trees--my dad used to carry pecans in his pocket. . ."
See, she's from the New Bern area so maybe it's a Down East Dad thing.
Those pecan-crackin' daddies were the best.