It’s about time I created a post that reflected the new URL for this blog.
I spent the first two Thanksgivings in the USA alone, in 1997 and 1998. Danielle and the girls were in England and, each time, other families invited me to join their celebration. The first year was in Washington D.C. while I was on business, the second year was back in Dallas where a Mormon family invited me to join them.
This year marked the 10th Thanksgiving since we moved here in 2001. This year the four of us (myself and the girls) made our own Thanksgiving meal. Some of the spread we made is here:
It wasn’t until we sat down to eat that we realized some things were still in the kitchen..oops!
Fortunately, the recipes found and adapted by my runaway wife were not lost to the family because the three girls had helped in past years and, between them, could recreate almost everything we traditionally made. (My role was usually to work until Wednesday evening and then help out in minor ways, and cook and carve the turkey on Thanksgiving Day. Most other things were done in advance.)
I had a difficult time planning for Thanksgiving because my runaway wife kept putting off my requests for a discussion about custody arrangements. For most separated/divorced couples, there is some kind of trade-off or annual switch between the two biggest Holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas). In this case, I didn’t know if she wanted to have the girls this year or not.
When she finally contacted me, she asked if she could join us. This was a very big surprise and the last thing I expected. I talked it over with the girls and — bottom line — there was a veto. Not exactly surprising. When I communicated this to Danielle and asked if she wanted to see any or all of the girls over the long break, she simply responded with a comment that she’d make other plans. When I dropped some letters and magazines off to her a few days ago, she bypassed the question of seeing the girls again. There is clearly something amiss with her…
Settling in to our own routines, we started our new tradition with a very good sleep-in. Only one of us was up before 11am. Not a brilliant start, of course.
By the time we got organized, the sun was as high in the pale blue sky of late Fall as it ever gets. This was the organized view that presented itself after I got out of the shower:
Still, best efforts and all, the late start meant that we ate our Thanksgiving meal after 5pm…some hours later than we normally sit down for our Thanksgiving meal.
Although the four of us were a family on Thanksgiving Day 2011, I rather keenly felt the smaller family. The melancholy was unavoidable; this new tradition was sufficient, but not enough to fulfill me. I’m not sure if the girls felt it too. We were a little more subdued than usual, so they probably did. It’s to be expected of course, the year of first anniversaries continues. Next year, we will do Thanksgiving with gusto! We will invite another local family to join us and we will be a larger group. We will all feed off each other and chatter into the night. We will live the day as we have in the past. Our time for a quiet celebration has come and gone.
We will also get up a little earlier in the day … *sheepish grin*