What a lovely Thanksgiving weekend with the whole family! That included our two,
spouses, and grandchildren, plus Gina’s mother, sister, spouse, children. Eighteen in
all! And everyone stayed with Josh and Gina but us; we went to a hotel. Quite a
crowd! The grands are ages 8, 9, 13, 13, 17, 18, 21, 22.
Yesterday I heard a review of a new book by Oprah Winfrey and Arthur Brooks
on how to be happy. The principles they talked about are basically Christian principles, such as using your gifts to help others. The part I appreciated the most is this statement of why people are so unhappy: We have substituted convenience for contact. When people are not in contact with other people, they will not be as happy as when they are in person with others.
Well, we had a boatload of happiness from Wednesday through Saturday in Lafayette, Indiana! We all worked together to cook our feast. Of course everything was delicious. It was just hard to eat enough of all the good food when there was such variety.
And desserts! Oh, my, but weren’t they grand! (As Aunt Mae used to
say.) Gina’s sister, Gennifer, brought a wonderful apple cranberry tart, her mother
Marcia made marvelous chess pies, niece Emma made a beautiful cream cheesepound cake, and I took a yellow cake with Penuche Frosting (Gina’s favorite.) Gina’s gorgeous contribution to desserts was a Pumpkin Roll from Scones and Doilies, their favorite local bakery. Absolutely amazing decorating!
Leftovers are part of the blessing of Thanksgiving dinner! We ate at 1 pm so we
could eat more later. We even watched an old movie, “Death on the Nile,” in
anticipation of our trip to Egypt in January.
We played games in various parts of the house and kept eating. Some of us chose to exercise or nap instead, but everyone enjoyed what they chose. Well, maybe not one who lost a Rook game, but no names mentioned here!
On Friday, most left for Black Friday shopping in Indianapolis, but Steve and I opted to stay in Lafayette. We had a lovely day going out to lunch and perusing the small shops in that delightful town. We even bought a few Christmas gifts.
More food and games that evening. Then on Saturday morning, after Gina’s delicious breakfast casseroles, the heaving games began. We all assembled outside in the front yard to heave pumpkins and then logs as far as possible. The only prizes were the honor and glory of applause, but it was a hilarious time that we all enjoyed. The Scottish games have nothing on the Boyds, Byerses, and Stuecks, plus Marcia Leech. Nearly everyone participated. I only watched from the sidelines and granddaughter Landry watched from the window, still in her pajamas.
After dividing up some of the (still!) leftovers, we all went out to lunch at Nine Irish Brothers restaurant. We had to include something Irish after our Scottish games. All ethnicities appreciated in this family!
As I look back on the weekend, I’m drawn again to the comment made by Arthur Brooks about the importance of in-person contact. Social media gives information, but personal contact, in this case with love, is what brings joy. What a joyous weekend for us all!
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10.)