I was dealing with a tremendous amount of raw emotion, too. <----this equals my summary of the last few months. There. I've written about it...now we can move on to the present.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I am super excited that my brother, Jason, along with Mom and Tom are coming to our house to spend a holiday together. Thanksgivings were always a little tough while we lived in the northeast. Mainly b/c you don't have the awesome distraction of squealing, happy children opening presents to take up the void of missing family. However, past Tday celebrations have been unique in that we've been invited to share in other families festivities. It's neat to see how each family has it's own traditions and warmth.
This brings to mind Turkey Day 2004....at Gino F.'s house. Gino worked with Jason at FedEx and we became fast friends with him and with his wife, Emily. Gino's folks are off the boat from Italy and totally loved having people come over for "festivities."
Let's see...the first course started around 1pm and the last course wrapped up well after 11pm! Interesting things about this family's traditions: Each course was served on *very* nice fine china that was hand-washed between courses. Yes, hand-washed! The women washed in the kitchen while the men gathered in the living room discussing politics, God, and family. Oh, and between each course some form of alcohol was served. I see why Italians are known for being so warm and loving, lol.
At some point in the late afternoon, everyone took a walk to try and burn off some of the calories and fat we consumed. Or maybe it was just to try and settle all that food, I don't know. By the end of the night, we were part of Gino's awesome family and they were ready for us to spend the night and start again the next day! Family is big with Italians....maybe *the* most important characteristic. It was clear through all the eating and talking and laughing that children were welcome and loved and each member of the family was a cherished and important part. We had a great time with the Forgionni's and will never forget that Thanksgiving.
I haven't had the pleasure of cooking a full Tday meal since 1999, when Jason and I had only been married for 3 weeks! Yeah...that turkey was raw on the inside and I cooked every. single. possible. dish I could think of that my own mother had cooked growing up. Did I mention it was just the two of us that Thanksgiving? :) Jason dutifully ate the outer rim of the turkey....and parts of the 20 dishes I served and never once complained about any of it. That's the type of man I married.
Let's hope this year I get the turkey right and take from the Forgionni's warmth to have a memorable and warm family celebration--there is certainly much thanksgiving to offer to our God.