Happy Thanksgiving – ’06 Edition

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. My mom has been visiting with us since Tuesday and we’ve had a great time. I haven’t had a lot of time to blog, so I’ve just been adding a little here and there. Here’s the past few days in one post.

Thursday

We met up with our next-door neighbor, Terri, to go to the annual Turkey Trot 10k at the University of Richmond. Mom had been looking forward to this one since last year, but unfortunately the weather was nearly as favorable this time. It was about 40° F and rainy, making running seem just a bit more silly than usual. The weather only added to the abundant medical issues: mom has had knee pain, Angela has a recovering hamstring and stitches in her knee, Terri has pain in the bottom of her feet, and I am now convinced I have a stress fracture on the top of my right foot. Nasty weather, running with injuries, and a very hilly campus were tough on all of us, though. Anyway, we all did our best and certainly earned some turkey for that evening.

When we all got back home, we cleaned up and Angela started making a huge brunch. Our friend (and Angela’s co-worked) Ross came over to play some Wii games and join us for brunch. We had mimosas with waffles, sausage, and eggs, all of which were delicious.

After Ross left to go to his Dad’s, we all took short naps before beginning cooking some more. Angela had a great spread for dinner this year: turkey (of course)1, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green beans (in olive oil), homemade dressing, and pumpkin creme brulée for desert. Terri joined us for dinner that evening (just as the turkey set off the smoke alarm, which it seems to do every time we make one). It was really nice getting to hang out with our newest neighbor.

Terri Made Us A Pie

Terri even brought us a great looking and even better tasting pie. It was cherry filled with a chocolate crust and all homemade.

Black Friday

We didn’t try and brave any of the large crowds early in the morning this year. I had had my fill of waiting in line the previous weekend. Also, there just didn’t seem to be any killer deals on anything we wanted to get for anyone this year (or even ourselves, really). Angela worked Friday, but mom and I did get out some to got to a few stores. The shopping is limited in Jamestown, or even when she drives to Cookeville, so it’s a nice chance for her to find some clothes and such. I was looking for a cheap router for her birthday present since she is getting DSL next week, but the price on Amazon is just too good to pass up. So much for "Black Friday" and all the great deals (although Staples did have really cheap SD cards, but still no cheaper than Amazon).

Mom and hung out most of the whole day until Angela got off work. That evening, we made apple-chicken sausage in spaghetti for dinner. Angela played Rayman on the Wii until late in the evening. She’s getting really good at whomping bunnies.

Wii Time

Mom and Angela work together to drown some bad bunnies in Rayman. This is one of the games where you can actually sit down, although you definitely can’t sit still. This particular challenge almost made my left arm fal out of its socket!

Saturday

After a short stop at the mall to pick up some works shoes for Mom, we headed up to Northern Virginia to visit Mom’s cousin Barbara and her family. We rarely get to see that branch of the family so it was good to get to spend the afternoon with Barbara, Jacque, and three of their five children. Greg, the oldest son, is a member of the Army Special Forces (just like his dad was) and after serving in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and four trips to Iraq, was home for a couple of months (he had been home several times in between). He had come up to Virginia for the holiday and we were glad to get to see him, as well as his sister Chantel (their brother Michael couldn’t stay for long). Seantel is a chemist, so she and Angela had all sorts of things to talk about that I can’t really follow along with. After a really nice dinner, Greg showed us a lot of the photos he’s taken while on trips to various places in Iraq. He and his outfit have gotten a chance to seen almost the whole country, taking in both the beautiful and the ugly. While some of his photos make it look wonderful, I know I don’t have the guts to visit anytime soon. Well, anyway, people like Greg are smart and professional and it’s good to know that there are men and women like him throughout the armed forces, even though they never seem to be the ones getting the press (for better or for worse). It was great to spend some time with them and we did our best to convince them all to come to Richmond sometime so we can return the hospitality they showed us.

Greg Shows Us Iraq Photos

Greg gave us a slideshow of some of his favorite photos from four trips to Iraq with the Army SF team he is a member of. Chantel then showed us all her dog’s Halloween costume, since Greg hadn’t had a chance to see it yet, either.

One Last Thing

We all give thanks for many things this year, and I should be first in line since it seems like I have everything I need and sometimes more than I could ever even want. However, I think this year I have to say I’m most thankful for my aunt Martha, who has done such as wonderful job of taking care of my grandma in Birmingham. Grandma Edith is still with us and has been in good hands thanks in no small part to my aunt.

  1. The turkey here is always prepared by our standard high-heat-oven-roast method, which is from The Joy of Cooking. []