Sunday, October 12, 2008

Breaking with tradition.. building new routines

Family, fall leaves, abundance of food.
That's what I love about Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving was all that... but different.
I have always loved Thanksgiving but I appreciated it more in the last few years. When Stephanie left for University 6 years ago, our home structure changed. We were missing our oldest girl, full of useless knowledge and witty humor around the supper table. The other change was bringing Natsumi into our home, a Japanese exchange student in grade 10, the same grade and age of Michelle. It was a very hard first 6 weeks that year, full of emotional moments for all of us. I missed Stephanie a lot, I questioned my sanity a lot as well, with an extra teenager in the house. Natsumi missed her mom, Michelle felt neglected with the extra attention Natsumi was getting from us.

And then came Thanksgiving. It was so nice to have Stephanie home and we fill our weekend with a cooking, eating, laughing and even a hike. We made perogies and everyone had a job... Natsumi made dough, I rolled the dough, Michelle and Scott made the perogies and Stephanie cooked them. And we made tons. That one event brought the "Family" feeling back into our home. I can not describe the positive change after that.. but it was like a Thanksgiving miracle, I guess. This pic was during our hike on Mickey Hill, just before we brought Stephanie back to the FerryBut the other thing that happened was that I began to think of Thanksgiving differently. It made me more THANKFUL for my family. That Thanksgiving was the start of kids coming home for Thanksgiving, for them to be thankful as well, for their home. From that Thanksgiving on, we were always waiting for someone to come home. 4 years ago it was Scott, Michelle and Stephanie who were coming home (even Natsumi came home her first thanksgiving away to university).

This year was no different in that respect. But while we were camping at Keji in September will Jill and the gang, we told them about how we usually tried to do a hike at Keji or some thing on Thanksgiving weekend. And the idea was born.

This thanksgiving was a gathering at Keji at the cookhouse by Mills Falls. In all my years at Keji, I didn't even know this falls existed. When Sandra told me a few years ago about this falls, I stored that in my head, as a place to go. I have been to keji about 4 times since that idea and never really got there... for several reasons...

What a glorious day we had. First off Jill, her family and Sara (Jill's sister) and her family camped at Keji for the weekend. They had sunshine, warm nights, no rain (until today, that is) and even trick or treating. Sunday afternoon we arrived at Keji and they had the cookhouse all set up with all the comforts of home. The stove had a fire in it, there was coffee on, and freshly carved pumpkins decorated the tables. They found the falls yesterday and decided to move in early in the day and make breakfast there in order to reserve the cookhouse for our Thanksgiving feast. Jill's mom and step dad joined us, as well as Taryn and her friend Jenn (from Bermuda, no less). There were 17 of us, plus 3 dogs. What a glorious feast we had.. and thanks to Jill's mom for the yummy turkey, we had pretty close to a traditional Thanksgiving supper including 6 pies. We hiked and chatted, took pictures, of course, and enjoyed the colors of nature.

I am very thankful for my family and I am even more thankful for my friends. What a great way to spend Thanksgiving and what a great way to start a new tradition!


cpm said...

We certainly do have so much to be thankful for! Great pictures...gorgeous one of Michelle and the pumpkin!
Happy Thanksgiving!

donnadee said...

You brought back memories of my times at Keji and swimming down by the falls with old friends. Thanks for the memories of the beautiful falls sights at Keji. Makes me appreciate and miss home, family and friends all that much more.
Happy Thanksgiving to You and Your Family

GailM. said...

ok. Kegi, Kegi, Kegi. You're just going to have to take me to this place. It sounds wonderful. The Pies and Turkey sound wonderful. I agree, we're so lucky for our family.

Anonymous said...

Sounds wonderful! Wish we could have been there to be thankful with you. KofO