The part of my brain that likes to do things in a certain order thinks yesterday would have been the ideal time for me to do a Thanksgiving weekend report, but the part of my brain that deals with getting photos off the camera so they can be used for journal entries (even if just as a memory aid) thought yesterday was a fine day to do other things instead. Today I’ve got the photos on my hard drive and a little pocket of time in which to write about the weekend, so write I shall. This year, my Thanksgiving weekend kicked off Wednesday night, when Mr. Karen and I loaded up the car and drove to Mishawaka, Indiana, which is not on our normal route to Chicagoland but we opted not to take that this time due to the 6 to 12 inches of lake effect snow that was predicted along part of that path just about the time we’d be going through. Mishawaka wasn’t far enough south to escape the winter weather entirely; the road started getting messy maybe a half hour before we arrived at the hotel, where we stepped out of the car into several inches of fluffy white stuff.
Thursday morning we woke to the alarm clock, which we’d set for the latest time we thought we could get away with and still hope to make the two hour and fifteen minute drive to pick up my mom and get to the Thanksgiving venue an hour and a half from there by noon as the hosts had requested. That didn’t allow for quite enough sleep but that’s how it goes sometimes. We ended up leaving around a half hour behind schedule for one reason or another, which is not unprecedented. We’d been driving a little while when I noticed the clock in the car showing a time that was before when I was sure we’d left the hotel. Realization dawned: we’d forgotten that Mishawaka, unlike Michigan City where we usually cross into Indiana, is on Eastern time rather than Central. We’d gained an hour. I was simultaneously mad about losing valuable sleeping time and happy that we weren’t going to be late to pick up my mom. In fact, we got there early enough to have a nice little visit with my niece and her husband and the baby.
We also got to the venue for the big Thanksgiving feast ahead of schedule. Some folks were already there, namely the hosts and their houseguests and one set of cousins. We visited with them and greeted new arrivals. By the time we sat down to eat, I think there were around thirty people there. After the meal, I moved over to the kids table (which the kids had abandoned in favor of other pursuits) and colored on their tablecloth (which was designed for that sort of thing), as we adults had only plain tablecloths and no crayons our tables. My mom and I also took a turn in the craft room set up for the kids; she colored in a coloring book while I tried my hand at making balloon animals. I am not good at making balloon animals, but I did create what I thought was a rather fetching abstract sculpture. There were not enough gingerbread house making kits for us to crash that event, but I did serve as a judge. At some point, Mr. Karen and I played some cornhole, and at another point, I failed to pay attention to where I was walking and got a whack in the face from one of the boys who was playing some impromptu beach ball/balloon game.
After we’d eaten and drunk and colored and played and talked and eaten and talked some more, the gathering started to break up. Mr. Karen hitched a ride to his parents’ house with his sister while I headed off with Mom to her house an hour away. Friday Mom was tired from the previous day’s festivities, so while she napped I did some cleaning and sorting (and played a little Candy Crush to reward myself for cleaning and sorting). After she woke up, we went out for a late lunch and a bit of Black Friday shopping—fortunately it was late enough in the day that the crazy crowds of bargain hunters had dissipated. Saturday Mom had more energy and joined me in the basement for more sorting; we filled several bags with items to donate and a couple more with trash and boxed up a lot of stuff to save. We definitely made a dent but there’s still a lot to do. Mid-afternoon, Mr. Karen got dropped off and we got Mom packed up and took her back to my nieces’ with a stop at the grocery store on the way (yes, she and I had just been at the grocery store the day before but so it goes). We got back to our house in Michigan at bedtime Saturday, then spent yesterday trying to catch up on all sorts of household tasks and errands. I really should have tried to get to bed early last night, as I had to get up at 2:30 this morning to be in the office by 4 to support a customer going live in Brazil today, but I did not get to bed early so now it’s lunchtime and I’ve put in a full day’s worth of hours already and really need a nap but will not get one. So much for the restorative effect of four days off work.
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