Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Week

Thanksgiving: A Play in Many Acts

Set in the scenic rolling hills of eastern New York, this play consists of watching lots of people eat lots of food, interspersed with games, chatting, hymn sings and watching cute children.

The Cast

Moi, appearing as astoundingly odd-looking pumpkin. Hope everyone notices the lack of vanity-- I felt it was important to include pictures of everyone there, and this was the only picture of me that day. Note the extremely important prop I am holding: the Extra, Extra Large Water Glass. This glass is so integral to my life that I have extras stored at my in-laws' and my parents' houses.

Cheyenne, appearing as cute leech to Scott Porter. That was pretty much her role for the day. She hasn't forgot 17 months ago, when Scott would wink from her several rows back at Wasilla convention. She's followed him with letters and e-mails through his time on a fishing boat, the year living in Panama, the road trips with weird uncle Cody... She's devoted.

Bethaney, appearing as my sister, the lucky duck. Well, and mother to some pretty important characters, too. Also appearing as photographer, apple-pie baker, and other sundry roles.

Justin, appearing as Bethaney's husband and Evan's comrade. He helps Evan make jokes at my expense. It keeps the two of them quite busy.

Ashley, appearing as my sister-in-law. We all love her, except for the part where we secretly worry that she willingly entered into marriage with Owen. Ashley's principal role was as glass-less pumkin pie baker, in contrast to her role last year, when Owen and Ashley were in a bad car accident and the pumpkin pie was charmingly sprinkled with little bits of windshield glass.

Owen, appearing as maniacal guffawer. In his defense, we were playing a pretty funny game at the time.

Tanner, 23-year old Wrangell, Alaska resident, salmon fisher and fellow road-tripper with Scott Porter.

My mother. Need I say more? In her defense, it's probably not her fault that she has eight strange children.

My father, the thinker. And the debater, usually.

Evan's dad, appearing as host. And he did an excellent job. He didn't even turn off a light all day! (Dana prefers soft lighting-- which is the nicest way I can say it. I often quote the verse, "He who loves darkness rather than light..." But he's also one of the most thoughtful people I've ever met, so he didn't inflict his lighting choices on his guests.)

Evan's mom, appearing as hostess and chef. The house was clean, she produced an enormous, delicious meal, and she did all her preparations while hosting my two children for a two night sleepover!

Evan's "Mammy"-- she took the role as mother to everyone there. She told us all at lunch that she was old enough to be a mother to everyone else! Besides being Evan's grandmother, she has ties to my side of the family-- she was good friends with my mom's mother, Grandma Goldie, and she professed in meetings with my Aunt Edith, my father's aunt. So she was rather an integral part of the day!

Orianna, the Quiet Oasis of Literature, in the midst of a boisterous game. Her hairdresser and wardrobe person were sure on their game that day!

Lilly took the role of the upside down sister. I think she was singing her own little song, while the game raged on 'round about her.

Olivia was the Fake Smiler... and my LITTLE sister! I don't care if she's taller than me. Really. Well, maybe I do feel a little pathetic.

Tori, on the other hand, still has about another year before she towers over me. I'm going to appreciate that year.

Marilla was the Recycler, turning useless cardboard packaging into perfectly good munching opportunities. Here she is, with her moves about to begin!

Elliott was the Dazed One, about to fall asleep on Grandma's lap!

And, in the key starring role... Evan White, my wickedly handsome husband and father to three astounding children.

With this caliber of actors, you just know it'll be fun to watch. So, now for the plot...

The Action

  • Playing-- Elliott checks out his new horse/flashlight from Aunt Hopie. Who was the genius who thought of combining light and horses?

  • Posing-- A blonde, brunette and redhead. And these girls aren't just all about the looks, though they certainly could get by on just that. See the careful way the two big girls are hugging the baby? And the baby is probably a tree-hugger-- see the way she's playing with a little toy whale and boat. She's probably getting ready to go save whales with Greenpeace.

  • Bear-Moving-- Marilyn has received lots of Boyd's Bears over the years for gifts. Lillian made sure they weren't lonely, taking them on and off their little benches. This landing at the bottom of the stairs is one of the key play places in the house-- almost as cool as the dedicated playroom under the eaves upstairs!

  • Walking and Wrapping-- Here Bethaney leads the parade of children out for a walk in the field. The two aunties have the babies snuggled in wraps. The babies came in with cold noses, but they were warm from being bundled up next to a warm person.

  • Hill-Rolling--After a walk, a roll down a nice hill is just the thing.

  • Picture Taking-- This was one of the crucial plot lines throughout the day. And it was a serious business, as demonstrated by this professional.

  • Arriving-- This role was filled by Scott and Tanner and their classy truck-camper. This camper is going to be traveling lots of miles in the next few months!

  • Bird Watching-- Unfortunately, this activity seemed to be interspersed fairly frequently with carrying stunned birds up to the stone wall. Even with all the smudgy fingerprints, they didn't seem to notice the door!
  • Sitting-- A dirty job, but someone has to do it.

  • Chatting-- A generational difference, perhaps? One group is chatting on the phone to the sorely missed Cody, while another group just chatted.

  • Staring Blankly-- I have to say, I don't know if anyone has ever nailed this role like the magnificent Olivia Vaughan. (She meant to do it, I'm sure... else, I would be scared.)

  • Shed-Standing-- Or possibly, testosteroning...? Not sure. A blurry picture, but well representative. And the bonus is, Evan is wearing his tuque.

  • Table Setting-- Not sure who was responsible for this. It certainly wasn't me, lazy loaf that I am, but whoever it was did a nice job.

  • Cooking-- Again, I wasn't real key here, but Marilyn seems to have it under control in a real vintage apron.

The Menu

Okay, so I don't have pictures of anything but pies, but they're what makes Thanksgiving. Well, actually, that's probably the turkey, but it wasn't as photogenic.

So we had pumpkin, apple, lemon meringue, pecan and raspberry. And I even made two of them. I was so proud of myself, I had to take pictures midstride.

I've made Dad lemon-meringue pie several times over the years, but I'd usually just buy a frozen crust. It was only this fall that I've started trying to make my own crust. Usually, they're more "rustic tart" than pie, but it worked this time.

Friday morning, some of the guys tried to jumpstart the economy by tool shopping, but the rest of us had a more relaxing morning, heavily featuring Word Thief (the world's greatest game).
I got to snuggle my buddy Lily.
Elliott found a dishtowel and his sister's hat for a costume. Not sure what he was thinking, but he sure was proud of it!

By Friday afternoon, it was just us Whites again. Lots of reading happening! We stayed until Sunday, and had a wonderful time. Then, an icy, traffic-clogged trip home! Now, lots of wash and cleaning the house for Wednesday night meeting. (And sneaking in the time to write a blog!)


The McCoys said...

Looks very nice! Thanks for sharing. We had a nice day too with our family and extensions :) Take care in snowy Syracuse!

Cecil said...

I was glad to see the cast of some real characters, oops, I mean characters from the Vaughan et. al family! So, what's Word Thief? A game that every Vaughan female can totally humiliate the rest of the world as they use words like tuque? I had always wondered how tuque was spelled. Believe it or not, down here in Rebel Land, they call a tuque a toboggan!

By the way, how much cuter can those little kids get?

Cecil said...

I might need to mention that it was NOT Cecil that wrote the above comment! It was your old friend Amy!