My parents, sister and her family, and an aunt and uncle all live in Northern Florida. I, on the other hand, live in central Illinois. I have lived in Illinois since I got married in July 2009. In that time, I have spent only one holiday with my whole family in Florida, Christmas 2009. While my parents have come up and spent Thanksgiving with us on two different occasions, it isn’t the same as having a full family Thanksgiving. I’ve missed my family every year at the holidays. Finally, this year, my husband, children, and I drove to Florida for Thanksgiving, my first Thanksgiving with my entire family in 5 years.
I am happy that we were finally able to make the trip. It was worth the long drive there (and back). On Thanksgiving, my aunt, uncle, and sister and her family arrived early so we could visit. Then, after a couple of hours, we all sat down to eat a wonderful meal. Each one of us contributed something to the menu. I made the turkey and 2 pecan pies. My husband made cornbread sausage dressing (the first homemade dressing I’ve EVER liked). My parents made the mashed potatoes, gravy, ham, and a salad. My aunt and uncle brought green bean casserole and pumpkin pie. The wine and apple pie were provided by my sister and her family. The food was superb!
After our late lunch, we spent time with each other. My oldest, Ginny, loved playing with her cousins. They went outside for a walk and even tried to fly kites. Ginny was in heaven. I just enjoyed listening to the conversations and family noises. Unfortunately, our time together ended too soon for my liking. By 5:30 p.m., all the guests had left. Then, early this morning, my family and I started our journey back to Illinois.
I’m grateful that we were able to spend this Thanksgiving with my family. Hopefully, we will do it again in a couple of years. Until then, I will always have the memories and time to create new memories with my husband and my girls.