Saturday, November 28, 2009

It Was Totally Worth All the Prep

The worst thing about moving so far away from family, is moving so far away from family. Every milestone, birthday and holiday leaves us wishing that we lived closer to them, in spite of the fact that we have made such good friends here. So when I discovered that Mama and Daddy were planning to drive up for Thanksgiving this year I was understandably excited. It just got better when she called a few days later to tell me that they were bringing Granny Traylor with them.

Since we had to leave town unexpectedly for the funeral in the days preceding their visit, I made sure that the refrigerator was stocked and the house was spotless before I flew down to Texas. There are few things that I love more than coming home to a perfectly clean house, and I knew that I would have enough to do without cleaning when I got home. We flew home Tuesday, and I hit the ground running when we landed. I rushed to get all the clothes from the trip washed, dried and put away and I made a last minute trip to the grocery store for things like eggs, ice cream and additional drinks. My good friend Tracy kept the kids for us while we were out of town, and went the extra mile and left a delicious meal in the crock pot for us, so we were greeted with an appetizing aroma when we arrived home and I didn't have to cook dinner.

I made sure that my dad had plenty of his favorite snacks and that we had a surplus of k-cups for the coffee maker. Having a one cup at a time maker is really handy when guests are in the house, because essentially there is always a fresh pot of coffee available, as well as instant hot water for tea and hot chocolate. I did a last minute check of the bedrooms, turned on the porch light and then we waited. When the headlights finally turned into our driveway, the kids bolted out to the car to bestow hugs and kisses. There was a flurry of greetings and laughter as they made their way into the house, and then we spent the evening catching up and watching Star Trek.
The next day was spent preparing for the Thanksgiving meal and making food for the get together we were planning for Friday. By the time Wednesday evening rolled around, I was exhausted from standing in the kitchen, but it was well worth the time spent when we sat down Thursday to a beautiful meal and gave thanks for our many blessings. As I watched the faces of my family around the table, I gave silent thanks for each one of them. As we say in the South, these are my people. The ones for which I would give up my very life. The ones that I love.

As soon as the dishes were washed and put away, Mama and I began decorating for Christmas. We got the tree up and the kids decorated most of it, while we hung garland and draped lights. After the decorating was completed and the leftovers had been pulled out, we went for a drive to see the Christmas lights in Tulsa. They were really beautiful and well worth the drive.

I had to work Friday, but as soon as got home I began preparing for the arrival of our friends Paul and Tracy with their family for an evening of food and singing. I baked a quick loaf of banana nut bread, and began pulling out all of the snacks and food I had prepared beforehand. Mama and I set the buffet and put the finishing touches on everything just as they arrived. We invited Paul's mom Ann as well, and enjoyed our time together as we ate and my family got to know our new friends.
After we were finished with the first round of eating, we all grabbed hymnals and began calling out songs that we wanted to sing. Mama played the piano, and we sang until our voices needed and break and we began round two of eating and drinking. After we were rested, we sang again and finished up the evening with Christmas carols. It was a blessing to hear the voices of my family and my friends blending together in praise to God and in thanksgiving for all with which we have been blessed.

We were sad to see the evening come to an end, but made promises to do it again the next time we were together. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect Thanksgiving.


Mocha with Linda said...

It sounds absolutely wonderful! I'm so glad your parents and Granny got to be there with you.

I noticed you left out that other little Thursday evening event that was televised! :-)

Kay said...

We passed through your neck of the woods over our holiday as well. Love the lights. Beautiful! : ) Looks like you had a wonderful holiday!

Angela said...

GORGEOUS!! We has such a lovely Thanksgiving as well...lots of preparation but all worth it.