We were lucky enough to get to visit the NW branch of the family for Thanksgiving again this year. Our luck didn’t extend to the weather. But, come on, the Northwest? The fall? It rains there. And people still surf. (weirdos)
Despite the cold, soggy conditions, a good time was had by all. In fact, I’d say the odds of five adults to one toddler is just about right. And, get this, I could take a shower without a tiny person standing on the other side of the curtain moaning “Mommieeeeee uuuuuup!” I could get dressed, comb my hair, apply make-up, and pee, all without said tiny person clinging to my leg. And, wonder of wonders, when I came upstairs a delicious meal would be prepared and laid out before me. This is nothing short of miraculous. It made the painful four-hour flights worth it. (No need for details. Let’s just say that sitting in a first-class upgrade does not mitigate the fact that there is a very unhappy toddler sitting next to you. Especially when all the other parents are cuddling perfectly sleeping angel children on their laps the entire flight.)
Another wonderful rainy holiday pastime, other than eating, drinking and playing dominoes, was digging through the family tree box. Folks in my dad’s family have been trying to piece together this puzzle for decades. We’re pretty sure a branch came from Scotland in 1800, or thereabouts. And most of the ensuing brood were poor white trash from the south. For decades and decades. There you go. Some even settled in Texas 100 years ago. (Ha! Take that you snotty that’s-right-you-weren’t-born-in-Texas Texans.) I read a letter from a great-great-great-uncle (or something) who described his time as a medic in the civil war. I also found a note from a great-great-great aunt (or something) whose husband crossed the country in the 18th century to find his fortune in California. He sent her and their two children by ship to meet him. They had to cross Panama on donkeys. At one point, the native guide “took a short-cut”, disappearing with their son for two days. Has someone invented an interactive family tree that tells all the stories that go along with the names? Seems to me that’s the important bit.