Thanksgiving Begins

The first event of the Thanksgiving season was daughter Lise’s arrival. We picked up grandson Nathaniel from college and waited longer than expected to get Lise from the airport. Her flight from Denmark was delayed, making her miss the connection in New York. We were relieved that she was only four hours late getting to Charlotte. We were home by midnight and fell into bed.

The next morning we hurried to pack for the trip to my brother’s home in Winston Salem. Nathaniel deflated the air mattress by lying on it.

Nathaniel is thin, but he looks almost flat in this picture.

Son John $pencer and Rose participated in the mirror ceremony, when Nathaniel moved the hall mirror to a higher hook. He will move it down again when he leaves.

Dog Sadie is looking the wrong way.

Meal prep was underway when we arrived at Beth and Bob’s house. I took a photo showing a few people, not realizing how many would soon be there. We think there were 23 people to eat this feast on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

John, David, Don, Bob, Kate, and Nathaniel

I’ve never seen a group that could mix and mingle as easily as this group did. At one point Lise and niece Julie had a few minutes together on the sofa.

Lise and Julie

Grandsons David and Nathaniel were joking around near the back door with Grandpa. Nathaniel and cousin Kate modeled their leather jackets, both bought at thrift shops.

The photo I enjoyed taking the most was one of Lise and Zeke. When I was introduced to Zeke, I knew immediately who he was. Forty-four years ago his sister Mary visited us on Long Island. She was on a missionary trip, raising funds for her work with Wycliff Bible Translators. Mary’s first cousin was Bob’s first wife, who was the one who engineered her visit to us. All these years I remembered her talking about her family. She was the oldest, followed by two boys. When the fourth child was on the way, she set her heart on having a sister. She said she was so angry that another baby boy arrived that she said she was going to call him the ugliest thing she could think of. That name was Zeke. When I retold the story to Zeke, he laughed and said that was just like Mary. He claimed his mother said she was not going to have any more children and nicknamed him Zeke because it began with the last letter of the alphabet. With a twinkle in his eye, he asked if any of us knew his real name. We didn’t. It is William.

Lise and Zeke

I showed Zeke a photo I took of Lise and Mary when she visited in 1977. Of course he recognized his sister, and he was happy to pose with the grown-up version of Lise.

Lise and Zeke won the honor of being the ones who traveled furthest to our gathering. Lise lives in Denmark, and Zeke lives on a sail boat in Seattle, Washington.

39 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Begins

  1. Hi Anne,
    What a beautiful way of telling a story- weaving it through the present and the past. I loved the old Lise and the new Lise pictures- am I mistaken or has Lise lost a lot of weight?
    How far is Salem from your home ?
    The picture of NAthaniel lying on the air mattress to deflate it was funny.
    Happy Thanksgiving, Anne, John, $, Rose, Lise, Nathaniel, David and Sadie.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lise has lost about 100 pounds. Yesterday she bought a whole new wardrobe.

      Winston Salem is about three hours away from our home.

      What will you do when you are off for Thanksgiving? I hope you have a happy break.

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      1. Niece Julie had bariatric surgery. Lise took the balloon route — a balloon inserted in the stomach for one year. Lise had hers done 10 months ago. The weight loss has slowed, but she is confident she has learned to control her eating. She has had nutritional guidance and hired a personal trainer at the gym. I think a key element is all the encouragement she has had from professionals and friends.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I think so. My brother is doing it this weekend with a little help from all of us, adding our two cents worth. Someone else doing the bulk of the work this year. Yippee! It should be fun.

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      2. Oh, yeah. You know, even when everyone brings a dish, having it at your house, still takes a lot of work making sure everything is well decorated and spotless, plus having on hand anything else someone might have forgotten.

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  2. Anne, a lovey post of your holiday – what a wonderful family and that you all make the time and effort to reunite! I’m taken with the photo of Nathanial on the mattress and reminds me of a character in a book which my son loved, he was called Flat Stanley and so thin he walked through the cracks in doors etc.

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  3. I love family gatherings like this! We have a large extended family as well, also spread out. Wonderful pictures. I enjoyed Zeke´s story. I also wanted a sister badly after 2 brothers. When mom had the last baby, 16 years younger than me, I said I would have nothing to do with him when she had another boy. Of course, as soon as she brought him home I was smitten and he is my best buddy. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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  4. Our ganf arrives Thursday and there will be somewhere around 20 or so. Hope the weather holds so we can get outside…Mothers house is not very big.
    I do love reading all about your family. Ya’ll have so much fun.

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  5. I also didn’t recognize Lise in the pictures. She looks like she’s a teenager! We haven’t had this kind of get together at Thanksgiving since my mom died. We will have a small group at our house this year but our large one is the annual summer reunion (or a wedding but at this point, everyone of marrying age who wants to is already married!). This looks like a fun group!

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  6. I thought Lise looked like she lost weight and was just scrolling through the comments to see if anyone else mentioned it. Well, congrats to her and hopefully it’s not too tough on her for turkey and trimmings time. How nice to have a week of family visits and nice meals to catch up with everyone.

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      1. I did notice it right away Anne and at first I thought it was because a lot of last year’s photos in your posts Lise as either outside with John $ or wearing a jacket, but then I could see it. I hope it is not difficult for her to maintain her weight while spending two weeks at home and enjoying cooking by you and Nathaniel.

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  7. Just like an earlier comment, I saw “Flat Stanley” in the great photo of your grandson. We will celebrate this Friday to accommodate the grandkids getting to see everyone. Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

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