I love participating in Slice of Life, started by Two Writing Teachers and writing a story, reflection, or musing at least once a week.
I don't even know where to start telling this past weekends' stories! It was our 27th Friends' Thanksgiving weekend. I've blogged about this tradition before, and I continue to be amazed at what this weekend brings. This year we had 35 people. My friend, Annie, who lives in State College, PA, picked up Ellie, my friend, Jill's, college daughter at Point Park U. in Pittsburgh to bring her here Fri night. My other friend, Karan's, daughter, Shannon, picked up Katie Sat. morning at OSU. Libby and her Miami U. and Lebanon High School friends came Sat. evening after bridesmaid dress shopping (more on that in a later blog post - that's another story), and my neighbors right next door joined us as well. Two of Ellie's high school friends also came. I loved that one of them exclaimed, "This is the coolest thing I've ever been to!" The house got fuller and fuller, louder and louder!
Before dinner we had a champagne toast to our two Miami U. engaged couples (I spilled champagne all over the place while opening the bottle and pouring - so much for graceful service). Libby toasted Bobby, our friend who died three years ago and whom we miss terribly. We said a prayer thanking God for our blessings of friendship and family and dug into the food! We cooked a 25 lb. turkey, homemade dressing that required 10 loaves of bread, pounds and pounds of mashed potatoes, an 8 lb. spiral ham, two casserole dishes of candied sweet potatoes, a crockpot full of buttered noodles, two loaves of handmade braided challah bread, two pans of gravy, two giant bowls of salad, cranberry sauce (over which there is a battle about what's better - from a can or real cranberries - with Libby's friend, Graham), and pumpkin pie for dessert. It was amazing that there was enough to feed everyone and even end up with leftovers!! After dinner there was a songfest, led by Chris, one of Libby's friends who plays the guitar, after he serenaded us with "Rise," the song that he'll sing for Libby and Jamie's wedding.
Next year, we don't know who will join us. Each year brings its mystery guests, and some of the kids may or may not come due to schedules. The seniors in college may decide to skip ours and start their own (Jill even gave a roasting pan to the future married couple, Libby and Jamie, since they're the ones who may host their friends). The younger college kids may bring new friends. Who knows what next year may bring - we didn't know that this year would bring a snow storm Sunday night!
We know that the moments we all get together are precious. We know that 27 years celebrating this tradition is a rare gift of friendship and family. We know that this life on Earth is temporary and that we need to make the most of it. We know that God has blessed us. We are filled with gratitude!