Today in My History
Books Read in 2019
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November 15, 2019
The holidays are coming up. It used to be so easy to make holiday plans. When I was a kid Thanksgiving was always at my grandmother's (my father's parents) and Christmas was at our house.
When we were first married, and both my grandparents were dead, all holidays were celebrated at my mother's. We were fortunate that Walt's family (which then was just his mother, brother, and sister) were happy to join us, which they did for several years.
When my mother married Fred, she preferred to spend holidays with his family and would fit us in whenever convenient. We started going to Walt's mother's condo at Lake Tahoe for Thanksgiving -- some of my favorite holiday celebrations! -- and then I would host Christmas here. I was always sad that I couldn't share those holidays with my mother, but Fred's family always came first.
Thanksgivings were so much fun. Because it was at nobody's house, it was a pot luck dinner. Walt's mother always cooked the turkey, others brought other things. I brought pumpkin pie and, when Tom decided he wanted to learn how to make baked Alaska, he made that too.
In the afternoon there were endless games, usually of cards, but sometimes board games, and after dinner there was charades, which everyone loved. It was always best watching Walt's mother trying to remember NOT to speak. And the kids always tried to give her the hardest things to.
I think the last Thanksgiving we had was the year David died. My mother's husband had died by then too so she joined us and it was nice having everybody (except David) together.
After Paul died, I didn't want to go to Tahoe, and we have not had Thanksgiving there since, though Tom would like us to start going to Tahoe again so the kids have that experience. Not this year.
Christmas here was always fun, especially in the years when we were hosting foreign students. We always had someone from another country here. The biggest year was when we had 24 at the table, in a room that is only 22' long! Tight squeeze, but it was fun.
It was hard doing Christmas the year David died, but we did it.
The year Paul died, I didn't want to do Christmas at all, but many of the guys from Lawsuit came over and helped us decorate a tree. I get all teary just writing about it. They made something very painful, something very loving.
With no kids around I didn't even want to put up a tree, because Brianna and Lacie never came here, so we went for a couple of years with no tree, but Walt missed one, so I bought a small table-top artificial tree that we could show in the window.
We had Christmas dinner and brought my mother here, but of course Jeri was in Boston, Tom was in Santa Barbara and Ned and Marta were usually with Marta's family. And the last time we had my mother here, it was so confusing for her to be out of Atria that I realized I couldn't do it again.
The next year, we went to the Christmas buffet at Atria. I think we had all the kids here that year too.
So with Thanksgiving coming up, I asked Ned and Marta what they wanted to do, since we wouldn't have to worry about my mother this year. Marta suggested that we go to the Mister Rogers movie in one of the fancy new theaters with the recliners. So we have tickets for 4:30 Thanksgiving afternoon and then we'll come home for something like Turkey sandwiches and pumpkin pie.
I don't know if this will start a new tradition, but I like it.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
(Thank you, Jessica!)
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This is entry #7171