Monday, November 26, 2018

Thanksgiving Weekend, 2018 - More Exciting than I Had Expected!

(Flowers from my parents' 50th wedding anniversary party)

Happy final week of November to you! I'm back. Let's do this.

This year, I had a calm and relatively simple Thanksgiving, with non-crazy amounts of food that included pumpkin pie I made myself. The filling, I made. I bought pre-made pie crust and I have no regrets. The best thing about mixing up my own pumpkin pie filling is that I can have the amount of cinnamon I require in it. Last time I used the same recipe, I doubled the amount of cinnamon. This time, I tripled it. And you know I'm using the good cinnamon, from Penzeys

One reason I kept that day simple was that I knew I was going to be driving from Wisconsin to Indiana on Friday, with my three sons, and driving back on Sunday, because my parents were having their 50th anniversary party on Saturday afternoon. We're juggling multi-household schedules and preferences, so this was the way it was going to work out best for everyone. We arrived on Friday evening, and spent some time hanging out with my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and their four kids (a boy, two girls, and another boy, ages 13, 12, 10, and 9) and five-month-old retriever puppy in their two adjoining hotel rooms. It was a pet-friendly Hampton Inn & Suites hotel; recommended! Then I sat with my brother by the pool while my youngest spent some time swimming with his cousins. My older sons stayed in our room, where they didn't trash a single thing. They're high-quality teens, those two.

On Saturday, I woke up feeling tired and achy enough that I was concerned I might be getting an illness, but I pushed through it for the day. The anniversary party was in a church fellowship hall, and we needed to do a lot of setting up and decorating. My mom had ordered some floral centerpieces, and we received two more bouquets from relatives. I set up a display of photos, and added decorative ribbon to all of the tables; my boys all did the assignments their grandma gave them. My sister-in-law was more involved with the food preparation, and my brother kept the younger kids and the puppy under control. Everything went well, and most importantly, my parents had a good time!

The party was from 1 to 4 p.m. After waking up already tired, doing the set-up, socializing with many people, eating all afternoon, and then cleaning up, I was done, done, done for the day. I had hoped to rally for going out to dinner in the evening, but I was SO TIRED, and I knew I was going to have to drive for seven hours the next day, so I just stayed in. The boys got to choose what to do. One got a ride to the restaurant with Grandma and Grandpa, one wanted more swimming time, and one wanted to just stay in the room and relax.

It's a good thing I rested, because on the way back I had to drive through a bad snowstorm. There were blizzard warnings for later in the evening breaking through on the radio, but even hours before the actual blizzard hit that area, traffic was crawling at 30 miles per hour on the highway. Snow was falling in big clumps, like loosely-packed miniature snowballs hitting the car. That added about an extra hour to ninety minutes to our trip back, and it was a bit scary at times, but we made it! There was no snow for the last hour of driving, and we arrived before sunset, so it could have been worse!

I slept well last night, and it turns out that I'm not sick, so I'm not sure what the deal was on Saturday. Maybe it was just that I was worn out from the trip to get there, and didn't sleep well enough on that first night.

It's good to be home again! I can't believe Christmas is less than a month away now. o.O