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9:18 p.m. - November 24, 2005
Gobble! Gobble! Urp!
As I’m trying to figure out whether it was the turkey or Sheryl Crow that finally put me to sleep (Ms. Crow was the halftime ‘entertainment’ at the Dallas / Denver game – and mellow semi-rock songs aren’t really the ticket to keep a turkey-addled fan base awake, or so I think) I was thinking on what a nice day it was.

Well, except for this creeping crud I STILL have, and I’m tired due to the fact that Kristin with her teething and her little sniffles has been waking up once a night for comfort, it was a very nice day.

Since my brother and sister are both much older, and were in the service and away during most of my childhood, our family’s Thanksgivings were always fairly small. Usually only Mamaw came by, or perhaps a couple of other relatives that I saw occasionally ate with us.

As I got older and gleaned girlfriends, the best thing about Thanksgiving was that I got to eat TWO meals. It always seemed to work that both your Thanksgiving and then your girlfriend’s, were spaced out without a problem. And you didn’t even need a Vomitorium and a feather to gorge yourself.

When I moved away from home, and my sister moved back to town with her kids, Thanksgiving became a bit bigger, but still it was a fairly concentrated holiday.

Niece Nurse then married her husband, and for a while we had a family Thanksgiving at our house in Zionsville. The first time Liz cooked a turkey she was in mortal terror that she undercooked the bird, even though, as Liz is wont to do, she followed each step meticulously and without fail.

But the turkey was good, and nobody knew that she almost Sineaded her hair over the whole thing.

After a while, though, Niece Nurse’s family decided that it would be best if they went to her husband’s big family Thanksgiving up in Lafayette.

They invited us one year, and boy it was a zoo.

There were at least 40 or 50 people there – relatives of my niece’s husband. Of course, they all looked at Liz and I like aliens, and I guess we were. But after explaining to everyone that no, I’m not her brother, I’m her uncle (we’re only 9 ½ years apart) they accepted us like part of the family.

We, meaning Liz, still wanted to have a Thanksgiving at our house, which we did after Katie came into our life. It was a smaller crowd, with my parents, my sister and my other niece and us, but it was nice.

Then when my parents got older, we hit on the bright idea that we’d cook Thanksgiving at our house, then drive over to my parent’s house and eat it there. It worked, even if Liz and I had some…issues the day before and the day was filled with tension.

Last year, though, holding a Thanksgiving at la casa du Smed was going to be an im-possibility to say the least. We were going to be moving in a couple of weeks and were in the process of boxing up everything and making sure some work was done at our house, plus supervising some work done at the new place.

So Niece Nurse invited us back to their family’s hoo-hah.

We had gotten to know some of that family a little bit more over the years, especially since Katie arrived on the scene. There were always family get togethers where a lot of the extended family got together.

We were kind of stressed out from getting ready to move, getting ready to close, and Liz just leaving her job, but we had a good time.

Now this year came upon us quickly. Kristin is around now and that adds another degree of difficulty to the whole thing. So when an invitation was offered to the big ol’ bash this year, we took it and ran.

Liz made a sweet potato pie and a pumpkin pie; we packed the girls (who would gather most of the attention) and ourselves and headed up to Lafayette.

Again, there were about 50 people there in a ranch house (not a small ranch, but not a huge house either). Moving around was a bit challenging.

But there was plenty of food, and it was all good Hoosier Thanksgiving food. The table was chock full of turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, cranberries, sweet potatoes, rolls, and about 48 versions of casseroles, including two green bean casseroles.

The only thing missing was turkey and noodles. We always had that for our thanksgiving, and Liz was flummoxed the first time she saw we had potatoes AND rolls AND stuffing AND noodles.

I explained to Liz that we Hoosiers need our starch. It helps us shoot 3-pointers in basketball season.

Unfortunately, I still felt the after effects (or the current effects, to be honest) from the ague, or the grippe, or whatever the hell it was. I was oscillating from feeling ok, to feeling like I needed to lie under a bus.

So we then went to see Mom and Dad and drop over a sugar-free pumpkin pie, then came home, where the oh-so-exciting combination of Jim Nantz and Sheryl Crow put me to sleep on the love seat.

As I woke up from my stupor, I was thinking about a lot of nonsensical stuff. (And you all are slayed by that remark, I’m sure).

For some reason, in my recovery from a tryptophan overdose, I got to remembering that Jason from the Waltons was Richard Marx’s original guitarist.

Of course, I realize that don’t mean nothin’ – not on a great day like today.


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