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Monday, December 1, 2014

The "Changing of the Guard is Tough" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Trying to remember when Carol and I didn't host our traditional Thanksgiving dinner at our house.  When we lived on Janet Ave, which we did for 29 years, we always had Thanksgiving dinner on the traditional day, Thursday.  
Celebrating Thanksgiving on Janet Ave. LDub is taking the photo.
Our family of five was joined by my parents as well as a few neighbors from year to year.  Then when we moved to our "Beach House" we began to have the meal on Saturday, since our son-in-law's family gathered at our daughter's house in Maryland for Thanksgiving on the traditional Thursday.  We also started to invite my brother and sister-in-law as well as his two children and their families, since we had more room for seating.  The number, with both families combined, totaled 19 people.  When mom and dad were still alive that added 2 more to the mix and it seemed there were always a few others from year to year that needed to be invited.  We had a great time, but Carol ended up cooking most of the dinner and I always tried to head the clean-up crew after the meal.  It was a great time and nice to have the entire family get together to celebrate every year.  
The table has grown as have the participants as we gather
for Thanksgiving at the "Beach House."  Again, LDub is photographer.
Well,  this year we saw the changing of the guard, since I am not recovered enough from my recent back surgery to be able to help Carol with all the chores that lead up to and occur after the big meal.  Carol still made the two 20 pound turkeys and four extra thighs, stuffing, candied sweet potatoes and a vegetable, but we transported it to nearby Ephrata, PA to the home of our niece Kelly and her husband Shawn who acted as hosts this year.  They have a very large home with a basement game room which is one item we didn't have at the "Beach House."  Great entertainment for the kids after the meal is finished and gave the adults some quiet time to talk and watch a football game on the tube.  It was tough giving up the age old tradition, but Carol and I both knew that some year we wouldn't be able to handle it anymore.  
Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Kelly (middle row, left) and
Shawn (5th from left in back row).  Photo was taken with the help
of a tripod in their family room.  Handsome group, eh? LDub is right rear.
We'll see how it works out this year, then decide if we want to invite everyone back again next year to continue the family tradition at the "Beach House".  My guess is ……. Carol and I loved not having the kids running all through the house playing hide and seek and throwing balls everywhere.  And not having all the mess afterward will not be hard to give up.  But, Carol loves cooking and being the hostess and that will be tough to relinquish.  We'll wait until after Christmas to decide whether tradition will rule once again or whether peace and quiet will prevail.  If you and your family celebrate a specific holiday with a big meal and gathering at your house, it too would be a tough decision to stop a family tradition.  But, life goes on with the chance to begin new traditions in all families.  And, it isn't always a bad thing when that happens.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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