Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Thanksgiving Post

This Thanksgiving, as we prepared to travel over 200 miles to my brother's home by car with my parents, my husband stated that his only goal for the trip was that we could get there and back without anyone pooping their pants. (Don't ask.)

The first hurdle we had to overcome for the trip was what to do about Ruby. We've had her for one month, and while she and Fletcher have become pretty friendly, Pete is another story. He still hisses at her with little or no provocation (although sometimes, she really does ask for it), and I worried about leaving them together for three days with no human running interference. Then, I had an epiphany: take Pete to stay at my parents' house while we were all gone.

We packed our car with the four of us, Pete in a very large pet carrier (he's a very large pet - he weighs in at 25 lbs.), suitcases, coats, scarves, hats and gloves (because it was FREAKING cold),  four laptops, two school backpacks, two pumpkin pies, a coffee cake, a tub of caramel popcorn, sugar cookies, and a ukulele. We drove to my parents' house, an hour to the north, and transferred all of it (minus the cat) to THEIR car, along with their suitcases, coats, two pecan pies and a cranberry salad. We left a bewildered Pete at their house and piled in their SUV. I drove, my dad rode shotgun, my mom and the college boy sat in the middle seats and my daughter sat in the far back, with my husband wedged in beside her, where they intended to watch movies the entire trip.  We were off.

I. The drive:

We took a windy, two-lane highway, as suggested by my dad, despite my warning that three of the people I brought with me get carsick.

My mother pointed out every single Casey's General Store (a convenience store chain, for those of you not in-the-know) we passed, saying she wished HER town had one, to which all of us responded with, "They're BUILDING one there!"

My kids fought over the bag full of candy that my mother brought for them TO SHARE, because you would THINK that when they are 14 and 18, they could manage that, but you'd be wrong.

My husband complained that I swerved all over the road (I didn't).

II. The Game

We made it to my brother's house in plenty of time to attend the last volleyball game of the season for the Mizzou Tigers. They were 33-0 going into this game (against University of Arkansas, incidentally). Considering it was the night before Thanksgiving, Hearnes Arena had a pretty big crowd. My volleyball playing daughter was in Heaven.

The volleyball team won the SEC title, the first Mizzou team to win it since joining the SEC. YOU HEARD IT RIGHT. THE GIRLS WERE FIRST. And since the football team blew it in their game against Auburn this past weekend, the girls remain the ONLY Mizzou team to win an SEC title. But I digress.

We had a rare sighting of The Antlers, an unsanctioned student group that formed in 1976. They usually reserve their antics for the basketball team, but having been ejected from Mizzou Arena two games in a row for what the University deemed inappropriate chants, the ones who were still in town had nowhere else to go. They were on good behavior. 

Some of the things The Antlers yelled, each time as the other team was getting ready to serve:

"There's a bee!" (accompanied by screaming like girls and swatting the air)
"Probably Team Jacob."
"Snape killed Dumbledore."
"Still has a MySpace."
"Peeta doesn't love you."
"Hates Forest Gump."
"The bees are back!" (accompanied by more screaming like girls and swatting the air)

These comments, incidentally, are not what got them kicked out of the basketball games.

Truman the Tiger was in attendance, as was the Governor. 

This one is Truman.

This one is the Governor.

The volleyball team beat Arkansas in three games, ending the season 34-0.

We had Shakespeare's Pizza after the game.

III. Thanksgiving Day

My brother might be considered a bit of a control freak. He would not be offended by that description.

He had a spread sheet that outlined what time each item for the dinner needed to be prepared. I kid you not. My sister-in-law is a wise woman and just lets him go for it. 

Dinner was delicious. The only thing it lacked, in my opinion, was pickled beets. I like pickled beets.

IV. The Jam Session

My brother is the one who bought my daughter her ukulele. She has been teaching herself to play by watching YouTube videos, and she has gotten pretty good. Her playing tastes lean toward artists like Ingrid Michaelson and Bruno Mars. My brother plays the mandolin extremely well. He plays bluegrass. In other words, their musical tastes are pretty far apart. So they compromised. They played bluegrass. It went something like this:

We went home the next day via interstate; no windy roads, no complaining from the backseat that I was swerving (I WASN'T), didn't pass a single Casey's General Store, and nobody pooped their pants.

The End.

P.S. Pete had a relatively uneventful stay at my parents' house while we were gone (or so we hope, unless he watched pay-per-view in the absence of adult supervision), his reunion with his kitty siblings was anticlimactic, and Ruby made me promise I'd never leave her for that long ever again.

My children not behaving while trying
to get a picture with their cousin.

My parents with their grandkids.


  1. Awwwwh beautiful Thanksgiving post :) Looks like you had a lot of fun and a well-deserved wonderful time.

    Also, I loved your brother's comment right at the very end - he's funny :D

    1. Well, thanks! And that was actually my husband who said "switch parts" at the end of the video!

  2. Nice video addition...love it: "He plays bluegrass. In other words, their musical tastes are pretty far apart. So they compromised. They played bluegrass."

    Glad you promised to never leave Ruby that long again...poor baby. :)

    1. Thank you! It wasn't a very good video, as I had just walked into the room and realized what they were doing.

      Ruby was a mess when we got home! I had to carry her around while I unpacked and put things away, and then she was so excited that I was home that she couldn't sit still on my lap. Once she finally settled down, she spent the entire evening glued to my lap, purring like a buzzsaw.

  3. Gotta love the SEC! But shame on folks for making those comments (the bee one is kinda funny).

    1. Some of the stuff The Antlers said was just stupid, but I did like the MySpace comment. They had a pretty valid argument against the AD booting them out of the basketball games by pointing out the lyrics to the songs that were played over the PA before the game, which were much worse than anything they said. I'm sure it will be an ongoing battle all season.

  4. I can't believe your brother drafted a spreadsheet for thanksgiving. It's so darn funny,

    1. I'm really not sure where he got that organizational streak, because it isn't a family trait.

  5. Your Thanksgiving update made me smile the whole way through. Not the usual Thanksgiving post at all. It's so you. :)
    (Pretend I wasn't here.)

    1. Some day, I'll have to tell you the parts I left out.

      I saw nothing....

  6. That spreadsheet is amazing. Sounds like a fun trip! Pickled beets? Really?

  7. My kids are the same age as yours and still fight like cats and dogs. They are both unhappy When they are in different states and cannot do so. With siblings that's love I think.

    We also diid the family thanksgiving trip and I got to test theory.

    1. You will probably agree that your kids are quieter when they are fighting than when they are getting along. They get so LOUD and wild when they're having a good time with each other!

  8. Also, I thought my SIL who hosted, was a control freak, but she never came up with a spreadsheet (at least that WE know of).

    1. The best part of his spreadsheet is that it doesn't include me! I just bring a couple of pies and don't have to worry about any of the rest of it.

  9. I won't ask but hoopla no poop! And I'm with you on the beets...got a fab recipe if you want it sometime....

    1. When I was in elementary school, they used to serve Harvard beets on our lunch trays, and I was the only kid in the room who would eat them. The kids around me would give me theirs, too, and it was delightful!

      Send me the recipe.