Twist, turn, left then back right. The narrow black top curved back upon itself before we reached the destination we had in store. Upon the winding road a once bubbling stream has swelled over its banks. Rushing noises seeping through the car's windows. To the left a small waterfall that was almost dried up this summer now pounds the rocks below. Ferns so green they glistened like emerald dew drops in the morning's mist ribbon the winding road on either side.
Crunch, skitter, creek the car came to halt on the the crushed stone driveway. We are here at last. Alighting from the car I tell J that I'll make sure the cat stays away from where J is trying to back into a spot. Poor Benny, poor, poor Benny. He is loved to death by the end of the day and looking for a hiding spot from all these strangers.
Oh no, Lucky! Lucky, a black Labrador retriever is a Hurricane Katrina survivor. I've forgotten about how he doesn't take to men in hats. The red velvet, white faux fur trimmed cap with the antlers is too much for the dog. He growls at J. Getting down on knees in front of Lucky I reassure him that it is only us. Later J and the dog are playing wildly with Lucky's toys.
J parks the car and we unpack the many boxes and bags to take into the
house. I've begun the ritualistic cleaning out of excess from our house
that I do every time we get ready to move. This trip only one box of
books will be given away. Next box is the pie I slaved over. Finally
the last packages are in the house.
The family is gathered in the kitchen. The smells of garlic turkey, and pies pervade the air. We bow our heads while D says a prayer. Aunt J states that there will be no throwing of the green beans this year since they are cooked in bacon. Pleasant memories of holidays past wind through my mind with the thought of the inevitable food fight that ensue shortly after the food has hit the plates. I can testify with no guilt that I did not throw food this year. I've been good for the past two years.
The night wound down with a Nerf gun fight amongst the men of the clan, professional photos (I am camera shy and declined), and desserts for those that wanted some.
Finding a bit of solace with dog on the settee I gather my thoughts. Where did the years go? This was our last Thanksgiving with this kin. Next year I have no clue where we will be or with who we'll be sharing the holidays. With not a few tears in my eyes I close them and give thanks for family.