The wife, kids and myself just completed the grueling post-Thanksgiving trip home from Connecticut. We even set a new record, 10 hours! That is four hours over a typical Maryland to Connecticut run and an hour over the previous record set somewhere around 1990.
Even while the aches of that marathon journey still restrict my movements, I can cheerily state it was worth it and I’d do it again tomorrow. Thanksgiving is far and away my favorite holiday. It is all about family, food and laughter. It has been this way for quite a while and I guess it isn’t going to change. We’ve established some new rituals, like my brother’s Thanksgiving-eve cocktail party and the Black Friday trip to the movies with my sister and her kids. But it is the basic premise, that we’ll all be together for Thanksgiving, that holds true.
This year, the potential for a less than stellar get together was there. Some family changes are in progress, which is always difficult as well it was the first Thanksgiving we’ve been without my stepmother. It was she who firmly established Thanksgiving as the holiday to come home for. It was fitting for my family to settle on a secular holidays to come together. While we were all raised Jewish, I don’t think it ever quite held the importance for us that family itself did. So, as adults, it continued to decline in interest and prominence.
Happily, every seemed ready for a time of hugs and laughter. We play very well together and it seems that we never quite get enough of one another. Luckily, this continues in the next generation of cousins who are always anxious to see each other and act like no time has past. Which is kind of funny, since all we can see is how much they’ve changed as they grow between visits.
The holidays take on greater significance as the demands of our very separate lives keep us apart the rest of the year and we’ll keep doing battle with the New Jersey Turnpike to be there. These times are truly precious and few.