Thanksgiving 2014 marks the first time that every single person in the Willis/Dillow/Taylor/Pershey families have been together in the same place at the same time, ever! The last time we could make the claim that we were all together was when we hosted Thanksgiving in Colorado Springs in 2005, but that doesn't really count anymore because only 3/8 of the grandchildren had been born then. We've seen each other numerous times since then, but not in an "everyone's here at one time" kind of way. Oh, how much has changed:
I was reading the Thanksgiving notes post I wrote shortly after that Thanksgiving and wanted to compare notes between that year and this. I mean, really—how much can five additional people change things?
1. It doesn't matter if you don't have enough dishes to have a complete matching set for your whole family—it only matters that they're there to eat with you.
This is still true, though we used our china this year. Over the years, we've collected enough to have landed on the magic number of 16 plates quite by accident (perfect!). Our chair situation is dire, however, and thankfully no one really commented on the lack of quality control in this area. Eeek.
2. Three gallons of milk only lasts four and a half days for 9 milk drinkers.
I think we went through four gallons of milk for 16 people in about five days, plus a shocking 28+ cups of coffee a day. And no, children don't drink coffee in this house. Apparently five additional small people make the grownups very tired.
3. A double-batch of cranberry sauce is too much.
Not anymore. If there are to be any leftovers for decent Friday/Saturday eating, at least. Aside: potato pancakes made with leftover mashed potatoes spread with cranberry sauce and a little dollop of sour cream on top are THE BEST LEFTOVER MEAL EVER. Our Scandavian genes are mighty around here.
4. Two 12 lb. turkeys is just right.
This is still probably true, but we got smart and ordered our turkeys from a little gourmet grocery shop across the way from our house, and that was the smartest decision of the week in this house of two ovens (neither of which are full-sized).
5. So is a quadruple-batch of pancakes.
We didn't have pancakes this time around (!!) but I did successfully cook for 16 people on four different days without running out of food or sanity once.
6. When your water heater bottoms out, you definitely can get by with the basic model as a replacement— even when you have 11 showers and baths in one day.
No one mentioned not getting a hot shower, so that's good. We did have catastrophic furnace failure that wasn't fixed until halfway through the visit, so there's that.
7. It's more fun to watch your husband and brothers-in-law watch The Best of Tracy Morgan than it is to watch The Best of Tracy Morgan.
Thinking of you, Tracy Morgan.
8. Thanksgiving Week is not a good time for your camera's auto-focus to stop working.
I think everyone's cameras were working just fine. Hooray!
9. Actually, NO TIME is a good time for your camera's auto-focus to stop working.
10. The hardest part of a family visit is the departure.
Still true. But hopefully far fewer years will pass before we can pull this kind of get-together off again!