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November 22nd, 2007:

Gobble Gobble

Happy Turkey Day To All!!! We’ve got  two families coming over today to enjoy Turkey Day Dinner with us. We’re orphan families, so we decided to get together. And really, we HAD to have people come over because my hubby is completely incapable of making a normal sized turkey – he’s got to get at least a 20-pounder. There are only 4 of us. And while I love turkey soup, and turkey sandwiches, and turkey commercials (don’t know what that is? You’re not from the midwest, are you?!) . . . well, you CAN have too much of a good thing. So, we’re off to start making Turkey Dinner for 12 :-) Woo hoo!

Here’s a sample of what a typical Turkey Day schedule was for me as a child growing up in the midwest . . . land of Catholics, Lutherans, and big families!

7:00 a.m. – Wake up to make casserole/orange fluff/dessert to take to Turkey Day Dinners at G’ma’s/Aunt’s house.

10:00 a.m. – Arrive at maternal Grandma and Grandpa’s house for “brunch.” You arrive at 10:00 because they asked you to be there at 11:00 – if you’re not early, you’re late! And you just KNOW they’ll need help setting up, even though they’ve been cleaning for 3 days straight.

11:30 a.m. – Get in line to get Turkey Day feast from buffet, elbowing your 15 cousins so you can be sure to get some orange fluff from the “salad” section of the buffet. Sit down and eat while taking as loudly as possibly in teeny tiny kitchen. After 7 minutes, make joke about how loud it is, everyone laughs, everyone takes a bit of food, chatter begins and steadily gets louder. After 7 minutes, lather, rinse, repeat.

12:00 p.m. – Open mouth wide while Grandma shovels the last bite of potatoes into your mouth because she just can’t bear to throw it out. “Eat this, or I’ll give it to the dog!” Um thanks G’ma – I’d love to have some, uh, dog food.

12:15 p.m. – Begin cleaning up kitchen with the other women while the men watch football or play pfeffer (don’t know what pfeffer is? You’re not from the midwest, are you?!).

1:30 p.m. – Mention that you have to get going because Dad’s sister is having Thanksgiving at 3:30 at their house.

2:15 p.m. – Actually walk out the door.

2:30 p.m. – Arrive at Dad’s sister’s house because you were asked to be there at 3:30 p.m. If you’re not early, you’re late! And, you are certain they will need assistance getting set up.

4:00 p.m. – Get in line for Turkey Dinner from the buffet, elbowing 9 cousins to make sure you get in line early enough to get some green fluff from the “salad” section!

4:04 p.m. – Get in trouble for not taking enough food – you’re going to waste away, you know!

4:30 p.m. – Continue stuffing food in your face even though you’re way too full and can’t possibly eat another bite.

4:40 p.m. – Wonder why oh WHY you didn’t remember to wear pants with an elastic waist?!

5:00 p.m. – Wiggle your fat ass out of the chair and try to get up to help clean up the kitchen while the men watch football.

6:00 p.m. – Mention that you must get going otherwise you’ll fall asleep right there on the couch next to Grandpa, with his pants unbuttoned and mouth wide open snoring.

7:00 p.m. – Actually walk out the door, with several containers of left overs in your hands.

7:30 p.m. – Arrive home, put on the biggest pair of pants you own, grab a beer, and watch football in the quiet of your own home.

We had so much fun growing up with all of our cousins around, laughing and playing at Grandma’s house. That is one thing I wish I had for my children – family closer. But, we have a great family of friends here and are making memories of our own that I hope my kids will cherish forever.

What’s YOUR Thanksgiving Day ritual?