I have cooked many a Thanksgiving dinner over the years--but rarely on Thanksgiving day.
Back in the day when the family would converge at Chez Durham--and I had to work through Wednesday-- I would find myself coming home from work, staying up late Wednesday doing last-minute cleaning and preliminary cooking, then getting up early to finish preparing. By the time The Feast itself commenced, all I wanted was for everyone to finish and go home so I could take a nap.
Being as some of the family was retired, and everyone else had Friday off as well, I moved Thanksgiving to Friday. That way I would do everything on Thursday and be happy and rested on Friday. That worked out for many years.
Then time did it's thing, removing some family members from the table and making it harder for others to come to our house. After my parents moved into a small apartment, I took to taking Thanksgiving dinner to them. As they didn't have a kitchen, and just a small microwave, it was easier to cook the day before and be able to take everything in. And if one is cooking The Feast, it's nice to share it, so the Day-Before-Thanksgiving party for friends came to be.
And I didn't think to take pictures of the festivities themselves, but here's the next-day shot of the table. I put on a tablecloth of the finest blank newsprint and toss out colored markers.
After all, this is not the formal grown-up Thanksgiving dinner. We're just the kids, having fun.
I feel I have to show some class, so at least the salt is served in my great-grandmother's lead crystal salt cellars.
I thought a good time was had by all, until the next day when I was doing the last of the cleaning up, and found this at the place of a friend who had joined us for the first time this year. Hmmmmmmm . . . .
And I had something special to be thankful for. The hardest part about raising small animals is that you have to let them go. Sometimes they leave cautiously, poking their noses into the world and then coming back home. Other times they just run off. My little stump-tailed squirrel did just that--out of the cage and into the top of a tree and out of sight before I could really say goodbye. And like any mother, foster or otherwise, I worried. Would he find food? Shelter? Would something else have him for dinner? Then a few days later Bob looked out and saw this.
That's my little man. Now he and his brother come and go, sometimes sleeping in the cage, sometimes not, but coming home for a meal. They're always welcome here.