This holiday season, Kris and I have pretty much made no plans. No, that's not quite right, we've made some plans. In particular, we've planned NOT to travel for the holidays. This is a big break from my family's usual plans of gathering for Thanksgiving, which typically leaves Christmas open for Kris' family gatherings in December. However, with all of my travel this year, and finances being as iffy as they are, we've decided not to join the mass migration to other parts of the country.
Besides, how would Kris be able to play World of Warcraft from his mother's computer? I mean, really?
So, when Megan let us invite ourselves, er, invited us over for Thanksgiving, we jumped at the chance. I enjoy big family gatherings, and the Smith family qualifies for both big and family. Besides, the new house needed proper family christening, and what fun would that be?
Since we were heading over hill and over dale to the Smiths' house, and hills crush Kris' car's gas milage, I drove us up to the house. When I arrived, I noticed that the parking pad next to the house was empty. After checking that the other easy parking spots were full, I circled back around to part on the parking pad. That was when Kris spoke up.
"You're not going to part here, are you?"
"Yeh, I was planning on it."
"Can't we park back up there?"
"No. Look, there are four parking spots here. Dinner is in like an hour, we're probably the last people here. I'll just park here. Besides, Megan said they put in an extra spot."
"Why aren't you parking on the side?"
"Because the tenant parks on the left."
Take that, gravity!
Megan later confirmed that EVERYONE avoided parking on the new parking pad, so I had better have parked there! I made sure Kris heard her, complete with a confirmation that he had.
So, you know that Calvin and Hobbes strip where Calvin is just walking along in one panel, and in the next there's this blur with a tail on one side? Yeah, the one where both Calvin and Hobbes are in a heap in the third panel? Yes, that one.
That was us, when we approached the front door of the house. Together, Kris and I were Calvin. The part of Hobbes was played by Kevin, who came rushing us from the side of the house and tackled the two of us, to much merriment and greetings.
The tackle just set the tone for the whole evening, which was marvellously spectacular. I managed another bear hug from Matty, and lots of chatting with Kevin, and Mark, and Mark's parents, and Megan's parents, and TWO grandmothers (which is crazy! Mirabelle and Meter have a good chance at long lives). I wanted to help Megan out with the dinner, but, well, she was done.
The meal, holy moly, I swear must have taken Megan all day plus two, even though she denies it. She made the entire meal a Smitten Kitchen recipe meal (which could have ended disastrously when SK's monthly bandwidth quota was exceeded this morning and everyone was locked out of the site, except that Megan is resourceful and used the Google cache to retrieve the recipe details she was missing), which meant it was completely Kris friendly.
Think lobster, and you're close to how wonderful the meal was.
The house is looking fabulous. I really like the design choices they've made with the house. I need to ask about the flooring. Thinking of putting it in at the Indiana house.
So, when people ask us what we're thankful for, I'll say with no hesitation that having friends like the Smiths is one of the biggest blessings in our lives and we're incredibly happy for their presence in our lives. I'm glad I don't need a big holiday to know or remember this.