kariskhaos


Worth the trip
November 25, 2011, 9:27 pm
Filed under: cooking, hospitality, love, Parenting, Teenagers, travel | Tags: , , , ,

Scotty had to work Thanksgiving this year. We had made the choice because it was financially responsible and much-needed. I committed to take the four kids over the mountain so we could be with Scott’s family for the day. My kids are not at the age where traveling is a fun adventure. Getting them in the car, asking for their help to get loaded, making sure they have all eaten and pottied is still an ordeal. This is one area I thought would get easier as they got older, but no such luck.

We are finally loaded in the car, and have an uneventful three-hour trip. The first half is very beautiful and the rain did not begin until the last hour. We have managed to arrive relatively unscathed and ready for the festivities. In the car I have coached the kids about electronic devices not being used while we are here. The whole time?? I get asked, well, at least until after the dinner and maybe just before you go to bed. They agree to this without much argument which just shows how much they love their family.

My in-laws home, is a beautiful open floor plan with lots of windows. It is a place you instantly feel at peace and welcome. We walk in the front door, and are instantly enveloped in hugs and hello’s and what can I get for you to drink. Cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, little ones, and more gather to share in a meal. There were twenty-one of us filling the room with laughter, conversation, football and lots of food.

I imagine this was the scene that was repeated thousands of times across the nation. We joke about not getting along, every family has its own weird idiosyncracies but we gather anyway. We come together and share a meal and re-connect. At one point I looked over at the large table, after dinner had been cleared, and thirteen of us were gathered playing “Apples to Apples”. Hoots and loud laughter filtered into the TV room where football was capturing the rest of the clan.

It is difficult to get together. It is hard to travel without Scott to his family for one night and turn around the next morning to drive another three hours over a mountain to get back in time for a basketball practice. It would have been easier to stay at home, to cuddle up with my husband when he came home after a ten-hour day. It would have been less money, less arguing with the kids, and I would not have come home to my favorite hat destroyed by the dog because he was lonely and bored without us.

As I sit back in my own home reflecting on the short journey, I realize more than ever how fleeting these times are. I remember when my kids were the youngest and begging for just ten minutes more, or one more cookie. I get all sentimental and mushy and want to capture the moments in a snow globe so I can shake it up and remember these unique and precious memories over and over. Family is a gift, time with them is treasure that can not be measured. The drive does not matter, the hat is a small price to pay for the memories created with people who love each other no matter how often, they do, or do not get together.

Thanksgiving lived into its name as I am so thankful for the giving of this time.

picture credit: Family Gathering by Joan Gellatly

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