New Traditions From Old Traditions

For as far back as I can remember, my family Thanksgiving always involved my paternal grandparents, the usual turkey dinner and sides, and playing Bingo.

It’s been almost a decade since my grandparents have been able to manage having everyone over at their own house, so we had been gathering in a church rec room, each family bringing something to pass. But we still had the turkey dinner and Bingo.

Since getting married, Cortney and I have instituted and every-other-year tradition with his family and mine, but we always stopped in to see my grandparents while they served pie and played Bingo.

This fall my grandparents turned 93. My grandma lives in an assisted living community because she has taken a few falls and cannot manage to live in their home anymore, but my grandpa visits her every day.

Today it was my family’s year for us to join Thanksgiving, but since my grandparents don’t really get out anymore, my mom had my youngest brother and his family and our family over for dinner without aunts and uncles and cousins. Without my grandparents.

She made a delicious turkey dinner. I brought pie.

I pretty proud of my pies: apple and pumpkin (my mom made a pecan)

And my mom went out and bought a Bingo game and prizes.

I missed my grandparents, and I am going to make time to go visit them SOON, but today was nice. I enjoyed having wine with my dinner (which was never an option when my grandparents hosted–or when we were in a church). But mostly I enjoyed feeling cozy in a home again after so many years of sitting in a church basement or rec room.

Today felt like a new beginning.

Thankful for my people.


Happy Thanksgiving…

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from my three turkeys…

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to you and yours.

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We give thanks for you.


It is almost 11pm on Thanksgiving and I just remembered that to “win” NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month–posting every day in November), I have to post today.

I’ve been off line almost all day. Yes, I flipped through instagram a few times to see all the Thanksgiving lovely so many of you were having, but for the most part, I just stayed away.

Cortney let me sleep in until 10am because of my stupid bad cold (yesterday I thought for sure I had the Plague), even though he got zero sleep due to my coughing and Charlie’s bad dreams cries AND the boys getting up by 6am.  I am thankful for his giving heart and his caring nature, for his natural tendency to put our needs before his own.

We packed up the boys just after noon to have Thanksgiving dinner at Granny and Grandpa’s house (Cortney’s mom and step-dad). The boys were well-behaved even though they were totally tired. I am thankful for two kind, polite boys who love to laugh and be with their family.

Nap time was way late today…Charlie fell asleep on the ride home from Granny’s and got to bed after 3pm. For the first time in a really, really long time, all of us took naps. Cortney fell asleep with football on, I headed to our bed and snoozed, and Eddie voluntarily put away the tablet and fell asleep on the couch.

After nap we packed up again and headed to my side of the family’s gathering just in time for the boys to get a little more pie (“MORE PIE!?!?” Charlie exclaimed with confused joy), and to play Bingo.

Bedtime was late, but both boys were in bed sleeping by 10pm.

And now?  Now Cortney and I are cuddled up: him with his apple pie-flavored craft brew beer and me with my second (or third, whatever) piece of apple pie.

I sure am thankful for my life.

Happy Thanksgiving.


there WILL be pie

Last year, Thanksgiving came to a screeching halt when there was NO PUMPKIN PIE for dessert.

That was SO not going to happen this year.

So when my mother-in-law put my sis-in-law and me in charge of pies, there was no question that one would make apple and the other pumpkin.  Since Kenzie had never made either, I let her do the pumpkin pie.  Since it’s easy.

And Eddie and I made the apple pie today.

From scratch.

start with local michigan apples. duh.

After YEARS of practice and watching my mom do it, I finally peeled my apples in one. long. peel.  yes, I was proud of myself.

it only took me 33 years, but I got the single peel...FINALLY!

I also like to use my mom’s trick of filling the pie plate with the apple slices to make sure there are enough to fill the pie.  Eddie tried to count, but ran out of numbers he knew.

a little hand may have stolen a few slices as the filled the pie plate.

Next, dump them into a bowl with a splash of lemon juice, under a cup of sugar, a couple spoonfuls of flour, some cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg.

again, there were some slices nabbed out of this bowl.

And then there was the homemade crust.  I may have given Eddie some play dough at the table so he could also roll some out while not getting in my way.

just like mom makes

I washed Eddie’s hands and mine (for the millionth time), and he helped me poor the apples in the first crust, put the second crust over, and pinch the edges.

ready for the oven!

Of course I had extra crust dough left over, so we rolled that out, sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on it, and baked that up for a reward for making such a lovely pie.

And lovely it is…

we can hardly wait for Granny's house to eat it!

All that pie making was hard work.

So we took naps.

And then had dinner.

And then ended the night with some Mario Kart.

totally something the pilgrims would have done, right?

Yes, we have much to be thankful for.

why does it all go so fast?

Pie is just a very small part of it.

But what that pie represents: family, tradition, sweetness, and love?

That is what we are truly thankful for this year.

What are YOU thankful for this Thanksgiving?