This was the fourth Thanksgiving since my parents' death. Mom was born on Thanksgiving Day, so we always celebrated her birthday along with Thanksgiving. This year I think we were all grieving as Thanksgiving approached. Sister was really having a hard time, as her ex-mother-in-law died suddenly this fall. She was close to her, so her death was hard on Sister, and brought back the grief over Mom and Dad.
Brother prepared Thanksgiving for us, and he lives in the house we grew up in. It was bittersweet as we turned down that street. Sister and I were in the kitchen helping with final preparations when she began to cry. I went over and hugged her, and then Brother wrapped his arms around both of us. It was nice, the three of us working together-- like old times. We missed Far Away Sister, who wasn't with us. She was missing us, too.
After the hug, things were easier. When we sat down to eat, it was hot, just like old times. I told Sister to open the window, just like we used to when Mom turned the heat up to 75. Brother had the furnace off, but it was unseasonably warm, and the house is small enough the cooking and people heated it up.
Sister-in-law's family was there, too. The age range is interesting. Sister-in-law's mom is my age. (Sister-in-law is 10 years younger than Brother, who is 12 years younger than me.) Sister-in-law's half sister and brother are in their early teens. Short Niece just turned 8, and Baby Nephew is 20 months. Daughter is closest in age to Sister-in-law.
A friend of Brother's who is a professional organist was there, too. He entertained us on the piano for a while after supper. He left, and Brother got out a dance game for the wii that featured the music of ABBA. We had a lot of fun with that. Those who weren't dancing were singing along. Baby Nephew likes to dance, so he was trying to match the moves. We were there later than I had planned, and by the time we dropped Sister off and got home, it was after 11:00.
There is a big box store on the corner, and there had been people camped out there for several days. When we came by it on our way home, the tents had been replaced by a line that wrapped all the way around the building. I don't think the store even opens until 5:00. I do not intend to go shopping tomorrow-- or even leave the house. The next month is the only time of year I don't particularly like the location of my house. A mall and a variety of other major retailers are located in the two miles between my house and the church. The traffic at this time of year can be annoying.