Thanksgiving use to be just a ho!hum! kinda holiday.
Then I met Will.
Back in the mid 90’s, Sister-In-Law (A) and Brother-In-Law (Pappie) bought what had been at one time a commercial hunting plantation. This wonderful land of field and wood and pond has become affectionately called “The Farm.”
There is a lodge. It has a fireplace with a mill stone hearth, a room with a pool table. Plenty of space for gathering and eating. There are two rooms for those staying overnight. There are two little “motels” – a quadplex, if you will, of rustic rooms, each with their own bath. Deer feet hang on the wall as jacket holders, and antlers as hat holders. There is skeet shooting and hunting for those hunters in the group. There are two ponds for those who wish to fish and plenty of walking area for those who are just getting away.
Will and Traveler and Ocho were invited that first Thanksgiving after the Farm was purchased, to come out and stay. The Farm is only about 25 miles out of town, but it is far enough away from stores, you pack what you need before heading out. It is as if you are much further away from home than you really are.
So until 2001, just A, Pappie and their crew, Will and his, would travel out to the Farm. Then Will and I started dating, the boys and I were invited out that first Thanksgiving, 2001. The three of us had a cozy room and had a great time with the crowd that gathered on Thanksgiving Day.
And again another tradition began.
We have spent Thanksgiving out there since. We head out on Wednesday evening, loaded with chili or hamburgers and then all the grub for the rest of the week. It is a laid back break from the hectic everyday pace. There is a phone, but you don’t think about. There is satellite (gotta watch the parade and the great Christmas movies that start), but there is no internet (I will survive!). Unless you are a hunter, whose day then begins before the sun comes up, you sleep as late as you want and stay in your P.J.’s.
Well, at least until 11 or 11:30. Only on Thanksgiving Day. That is when the rest of the family, Mother In Laws, cousins, friends etc. start showing up. The covered dishes come in and are laid in buffet style. I love it, because I take this holiday off from cooking – there is always to much food, I opt for paper goods! There is always a fried Turkey, roasted turkey and ham.
Oh but there is also.
Mac and Cheese
After lunch, Pappie will bring out the wagon, hooked to a jeep and take those who would like, for a ride around the property.
You know, I cannot remember ever a yucky Thanksgiving Day at the Farm. I remember cold, but never rainy. Never unbearable. Always beautiful.
Can you see the deer?