You pull down that familiar drive and the guys all wave as they huddle in the backyard, a crew of flannel shirts and down vests. They’re on the second “Remember the time when…” The need for a rematch of last year's backyard football game is thrown out before you've even shut your car door. Cheese plate in hand, you head on in.
Things seldom change here, and that is what you love about coming home for Thanksgiving. Grandma already has most of the younger children huddle in front of the TV to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade. You're smothered in hugs from a rainbow of cousins in cotton sweaters that match their personalities.
The feast is served. You take a look around and count your blessings knowing that you are truly fortunate to be in the company of these beautiful people. Dishes are passed, then complimented, cleared, and cleaned. When it is all said and done, there's not much left to do but be thankful for dressy scarves that perfectly hide gravy stains, jeans with just the right amount of forgiving stretch.
You admire your mother’s turkey basting skills, and how smart she looks in her Sport Knit Pants. She loves the new mock turtleneck you sent and hints that a few more colors under the tree would be nice. Note taken. But right now there's a cran-cherry pie that requires your full attention.
After a few hours of rest and a few hands of cards, the leftovers are lined up and the family makes another pass. “A little something before you head out,” she says, heaping more mashed potatoes than anyone should be allowed to eat. You change into your Starfish pants for the ride home, a comfy Starfish tunic in place of your prized cashmere sweater.
Another feast for the memory books. Maybe next year you’ll surprise the guys with their own team rugby shirts. Never too late to start a new tradition, right?