Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving-palooza

We have a Thanksgiving that is quite a bit different from most. Yes, we go visit family (EVERY year) but no one ever really understands what that means until you're in the midst of "family". This year happened to be the largest gathering of family yet. All told, there were 51 for dinner, a few more for the brunch that followed church service.

My husband's uncle is a priest and he hosts Thanksgiving at whatever parish he happens to be. Three years ago he retired and while the church retired him to a VERY SMALL town (population 73) they retired him to a HUGE rectory house that helps to accommodate at least most of the adults*. We didn't get to claim adult status this year and were relegated to the basement of the church (thankfully with air mattresses..still...).

Father puts on quite an event. Games (usually with cash prizes) for all, starting Wednesday evening. After chili at the rectory, those present head down to one of two of the bars in the town of 73 (two bars and a church...what else do you need?) for a "pull tab" tournament. We paired up (me with my husband...awe....), threw in $10/couple and whomever "scored" the highest dollar amount, won the tournament. First round, 10 couples NO.ONE.WON.A.PENNY. Debate ensued and we each threw in another $10/couple. And one guess who the winner was? Go ahead...guess. YUP, MOI! Not only was I the tournament winner, I happened to pull the ONLY two wins of the night...$200 and a $50. Yeah ME (although, the husband cashed in and I haven't seen hide nor hair of THAT windfall!). And the tournament win netted me (which I DID claim) another $50. I may have Christmas paid for this weekend!

Following the bar was the midnight venison fry (and were we ever thankful the husband's brother scored 3 deer this year or it would have been hamburger and that doesn't seem to have the same Thanksgiving flavor).

Church service was at 930 and getting 50+ people ready for church with only one shower takes skill in time management. Service was followed by brunch of egg dishes, several pans of caramel and cinnamon rolls, a huge platter of fresh fruit and several pans of sausage. And Bloody Marys.

Then the real games begin. Gunney sack (OK...garbage bag) races, apple races, running backwards, running forwards. All with prizes. Then the "boys" played a rousing game of touch football. This was followed by the poker tournament. Then bingo. All while keeping track of 2 football games/pools.

We actually had dinner on time, at about 630. 2-24 lb turkeys, dressing, wild rice dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, fruit salad, sweet potatoes, cranberries, and cole slaw. It was without a doubt a feast.

My oldest daughter stood on the counter in order to get all of us (or most...by my count there were 4 adults who were there but somehow missing from the picture).


Which of course reminds me of the song...

When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings

Can YOU name that tune/movie? It's probably a favorite of mine...especially around this time of year.

*adults=anyone over 50 years or has a baby/toddler under 3. I'm out.

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