Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Texas Redneck Thanksgiving

I want to tell you about our Thanksgiving. I know we've moved on and are well into the Christmas season, but I've been sick since about two weeks before Thanksgiving. Catching a cold is a job hazard of working in an elementary school. And just when I thought it was completely gone, a big cold front blew through on Thanksgiving Day. The Seguin and San Antonio area is notorious for mountain cedar allergies. Combine that with an allergic reaction to Bath and Body Works Wall Flowers in both my sister's and my daughter's homes and I was sick again. I think I'm finally over it.

My sister, Kay
I know I've told you about my sister Kay. She's my sister who's just older than me and she lives in a group home. Last summer she moved from Corpus Christi to a new home in Seguin. This makes her closer to our sister Bylinda. They spend a lot of time together and Bylinda is excellent at taking care of Kay's needs and serves as Kay's advocate. Living in a group home has been very good for Kay. It has it's challenges though. She has very little personal space and not much room for storage. This makes buying a gift for Kay extremely difficult.

Over the past several years, we've pretty much abandoned the idea of getting our extended families together for holidays. It's just gotten to be too hard and too much work. But, if you ask Kay what she wants for any gift, she always replies "I just want my whole family to be together."  That brings us to Thanksgiving this year. Bylinda agreed to host the family at her house. Of course, none of our other brothers and sisters was available. So, basically, Bylinda's family, my family, and Kay went to Bylinda's house for Thanksgiving.

A few weeks in advance, we planned our menu. Bylinda baked the turkey, made cornbread dressing, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, pumpkin pie, buttermilk pie, assorted hors douevres and homemade rolls. Katy made apple pie and green beans. I made pecan pies, deviled eggs, broccoli rice casserole, and pumpkin fluff. Nick was supposed to bring a honey-baked ham.

There were ten of us for Thanksgiving dinner and we had enough food to feed at least 25 people. Nick did arrive at his sister's house on Wednesday evening with two five-pound honey-baked hams. However, he left them in her refrigerator when we went to Bylinda's house. Trust me when I tell you that he will never live it down. His cousin Zachary was not happy. He claimed that the promise of honey-baked ham was the main reason he came to Thanksgiving.

Our Little Princess "drives" the tractor
We ate to our hearts' (and stomachs') content. The men then migrated out to the "man room" for an afternoon of football while the women settled into the living room to visit and talk.

Bylinda and her husband Mack live out in the country. Their home is an old farm house that was built in the 1920's and restored by it's previous owners. It has high ceilings and is homey and cozy. Both of my kids absolutely adore Aunt B's house. Just recently they've recently added an out-building. The main part of this building is the "man room." It has a fully-stocked bar, a game table, a television, and storage for Mack's Harley. The other part is a sewing/craft/music room for Bylinda and a store room. In between these two areas is a garage where the tractor and gator are stored.

Uncle Mack giving instructions as we start our ride.
Let the Redneck festivities begin! After lunch, Our Little Princess discovered the tractor and the gator. She immediately climbed aboard and pretended to be driving. Mack asked if she wanted to ride and she confirmed that she did. Uncle Nick took the driver's seat on the gator. When the motor started, she was very reluctant to climb back on. It was too noisy for her. But after I got on, she agreed to sit on my lap for a ride.We took a couple of laps around the yard and she loved it.

Our Little Princess at Aunt B's keyboard.
Bylinda came out and gave us a tour of her newly completed sewing/craft/music room. It's really nice. She can now sew and craft to her heart's content and not have to worry about making a mess in the house or cleaning it up right in the middle of a project to make room for company. Our Little Princess really enjoyed playing the keyboard ... a lot.

After that the ladies went back into the house and the men stayed out in the man room. A few minutes later we heard the unmistakable sound of gunfire. That's right ... in the tradition of true Texas rednecks the menfolk had broken out the guns and were having target practice in the back pasture. My brother-in-law has an impressive collection of firearms ... everything from pistols to assault rifles ... and I'm pretty sure they fired them all. What? Y'all don't shoot guns and ride gators at Thanksgiving?

And where was Kay for this afternoon of family togetherness? Immediately after lunch, she, who wanted so much to have her family together, went into the front bedroom and napped the afternoon away. That's right! She slept through all the family time. Too funny!

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