It’s hard to believe with Christmas bearing down on us how our minds have already blown past Thanksgiving and are wrapped around presents, plans, and more. But my family is famous for … ummm, an active Thanksgiving weekend schedule (call it overdoing?) Here’s the way it works with a review of last year’s schedule…
I’ll do this chronologically as best I can…
It kicked off with the Thursday AM deer hunt with my son…(click here for more of the story!). The remarkable backdrop: the marshes in front of Alligator Hall….reminiscent of the Serengetti. Call it an unusual deer stand to say the least. My son had never been to this stand — made it even cooler.
No, no deer that morning. No problem. He’s spoiled after he shot two in one weekend a couple of weeks ago. He’s finally learning it’s not so easy sometimes.
The next stage of the day is a wonderful tradition we started as kids. My dad wanted us to see the “hidden corners” of Alligator Hall, so every Thanksgiving day, we’d hike out to a remote part of the farm. With 89 year old mom with us, this was a cushier picnic than normal…but still just as fun.
On the way home to get to work on Thanksgiving dinner, we found an injured baby woodpecker. Welcome Woody, the newest member of the family…
And then on to cooking, setting, arranging, planning — Thanksgiving Dinner.
Although he’s not a setter, he’s a good help at table setting. (OK, that was weak, but I had to write it.)
Then on to dinner — 30 people, three turkeys, oyster stuffing, sausage stuffing, gravy, bisucits…I could go on and on. If you really want to know what we had and the recipes to make it, click here.
No rest for the weary…up at 5 for the annual duck hunt. The whole story is in an other post, so click here to see that. Suffice to say, it was a huge hit. All the kids (16 kids), adults, friends — who ever was able to pull themselves out of bed after a late night at Thanksgiving dinner…
Interestingly, nobody misses the big hunt breakfast…
Did I mention we’re having 300 for dinner tonight?
Since 1960, our family has thrown a party in our barn the day after Thanksgiving every year. The only real change…the SIZE OF THE GROUP! As the family grows…ummm….well, the party grows proportionally. Soooo, we decorate the barn, build big fires, move stuff around, hang lights in the trees, prepare for oysters, BBQ and plenty of traffic…
Nearly dark…that means we’ve got a party to throw!
But things were somehow wrong. I sensed it during the party that my lab wasn’t well. My fear was that he had somehow twisted his intestines playing with another puppy that day. Every large breed dog owners great fear. A sleepless night later, we were up at dawn heading to the vet.
Turns out he had a condition known in these parts as “Cold Tail” — go figure. It’s a nerve condition that makes them miserable pups for 4-5 days. It’s a result of his using his tail too much (seriously?!) and being in the freezing water off and on for a few days. The good news, he’s just fine.
Hey, it’s just Saturday AM, we’ve got a ton to do!
Like clean up.
Like the trail ride.
All before the afternoon quail hunt with neighbors.
After a lovely dinner with our neighbor (where I was nothing short of absolutely boring. Guess I’m a little sleepier than I thought), we’re up again for another duck hunt. No, seriously.
No “selfie” this morning. It’s not a pretty sight at this point. I could go on…
Pulled together for church (Dear Lord, please forgive me for falling asleep.) and then the final big event…the annual pheasant shoot given by wonderful friends who write on the invitation that you have to dress like you’re headed into the moors of Scotland! It’s a ton of fun (until you’re pulled by a local SC highway patrolman who thinks you look like a pompous nutcase. But that’s another story for another time.) The weather was perfect, my dog was back to being his old self, my son didn’t miss a bird, and all my boys were looking sharp.
The perfect end to yet another amazing Thanksgiving weekend. It’ll take a year to recover.