Daily Journey Journal #183: family gathering

When I was a kid, my parents always hosted Thanksgiving for our family. My dad, being an only child, has a pretty small family, but by mum has three siblings, so our Thanksgiving celebration often had more than twenty people at the table, especially as time went on.
There are nine first-generation cousins in my family and seventeen years between my oldest cousin and my youngest cousin, which means that by the time I was ten, we had a second generation of cousins coming to celebrate. To me, this was fantastic. It meant I could have pillow fights with my age mates, play with my baby cousins and talk with my grown up cousins. In between there were always aunts and uncles, grandfathers and grandmothers to hang with. Thanksgiving was all about family and all year I craved that feeling of having a completely full house.
In the days leading up to everyone arriving, we rearranged the furniture to accommodate all twenty plus people, cleaned the house from top to bottom (which my brother and I hated), and started gathering enough food to feed everyone. On Thanksgiving Day, in the hours before my family started arriving, I peeked out the front window a million times, looking for my grandparents’ truck, my aunts and uncles SUVs, my cousin’s jeep. I loved that anticipation and the feeling of the clean, quiet rooms. If was as if the house were also anticipating the beginning of our crazy family gathering.
It’s been many years now since my whole family has gathered in Wyoming, all nine of us cousins having grown up and started our own lives, but I still remember the Thanksgivings of childhood. I loved every second of the family get togethers. There was never a quiet moment, never the doldrums of boredom. And always, there was such love and care.

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