OK. I was so tired after the festivities yesterday that I couldn't have put together a coherent sentence, let alone a paragraph, so no Thankgiving post. The irony does not escape me.
My family gathers at my Aunt's house every year and we have a crowd. I have a lot of family in the area - number-wise, if not actual branches of the family tree. How many people? I don't know and didn't count, but I'd guess 30-40 of various ages (6 months - 81 y.o.) and sizes. We have 2 turkeys, all the sides, and dozens of pies. (One year, we had 1 pie per person.) Sorry, I didn't take pictures. This year, one cousin and his wife were able to join us for the day. It has been a few years since he has been able to come to Thanksgiving, so it was nice that he was there.
When my parents first moved to Arizona, I was still in college. I had grown up on the other side of the country from any relatives and hadn't really seen any of these people since I was 10 years old. It was a rough holiday and I swore I'd never do another Thankgiving with them. It was horrible. Some of my cousins were still teenage boys and acted like it. One cousin was newly married and it was pretty obvious there was some tension with the in-law. There were arguments and outright fights and I thought I had entered a madhouse. (My mother raised a low drama family, so anything like what went on would have never been allowed to happen in our family - ever.)
It's been many years now and there are far fewer moments of high drama at family events. I see this set of people almost monthly. I usually look forward to the parties just so I can catch up and see what's happening in their lives. It took a few years to get used to my family after years far, far away from them.
I AM GRATEFUL I HAVE FAMILY CLOSE ENOUGH TO CELEBRATE HOLIDAYS WITH THEM!