A few weeks ago, I started a new job in a new town, and as many of you probably know, I don't have my driver's license. (Cue comments from the peanut gallery. Okay, now that that's out of the way . . .) Since I don't drive and I only had Thursday off from work, I couldn't go home for the holiday. (Note to self: 4.5 hours is not that far to drive. Next year, when you have your license, you will leave after work on Wednesday and go home for dinner with your family on Thursday.)
Fortunately, the lovely music director at my new church home was kind enough to invite me to spend Thanksgiving with her family: the Hicks from West Virginia. (No, seriously.) While the meal was delicious and the company more than enjoyable, it wasn't my family. My rowdy, loving family really knows how to have a holiday so there were more than a few things that I missed. However, with new friends come new memories and, on this occasion at least, much laughter.
So, here are some of the things I missed:
*My family, of course. We're close-knit and all up in each other's business. This year, nobody asked me if I have a boyfriend yet. (Okay, maybe I didn't really miss that last part.)
*My mom's sweet potato casserole. Not the kind with marshmallows. This stuff is all brown sugar and butter and pecan topping, which is really the reason we all love it so much. (My Uncle Matt only eats the topping.)
*Exchanging names for Christmas gifts. Mom picked a name for me. (Shh! It's a secret! But with only five of us grown kids in the exchange, it won't take long for the secret to get out, I'm sure. Jena and Melanie are tops at guessing anyway.)
*Washing dishes with Janelle.
*Seeing how big Landyn and Nola are getting.
*Sitting around for hours after our two o'clock dinner and talking until it's time to eat again. Saying, "I guess we'd better be getting home" and then sitting around and talking for another hour. Or two.
And here's what made my non-family Thanksgiving memorably delightful:
*Not being alone on a holiday.
*Talking to my family while they passed the phone around in turn.
*Trying to teach Amelia to knit using two plastic spoons.
|It's possible! (Not altogether advisable.)|
*Meeting the extended Hicks family and feeling right at home, especially when, during the BINGO! game, Chris said something about the ball turner being broken: "Mine's broken. Mine is broken!" I replied, "Mine are broken!" and Chris and her sister Karen both caught my Pretty Woman reference. Or maybe I joined theirs. Well, we were all on the same page.
*Playing BINGO! with all of the kids.
|Pinto beans make excellent BINGO! chips.|
*The chaos associated with lots of little ones.
*Laughing heartily while spending time with sisters Jessica and Cassidy, their mom Chris and dad Jack, and a whole host of fond family, now called friends.
A holiday feels so much more festive with family, and even though they aren't my family, the Hicks from West Virginia sure made me feel like one of their own.