With November upon us we began stepping up our plans to head back to Ice Floe. But first, there is one more visit to Michigan and Thanksgiving to share with family and friends. November, you must be thinking – it is already February.
An aside, I will do my best to catch you up on all the great adventures we have had this season in the Caribbean as soon as possible. Camera and photo and internet and emergency dental challenges have presented obstacles to summarizing the wonderful time we have been having here.
Brief Michigan Visit
George has an often-used phrase “Its on the way if you go that way”. That attitude has allowed us to sneak in visits with friends and loved ones en route to quite different destinations. On one such trip to or from Marilla’s and Mitch’s we made a quick stop at Allison’s and Mike’s for a day or two. We were able to see Riley participate in a climbing competition. She is strong and lanky and beautiful on the wall in the gym (or the side of a cliff).
We also had a chance to have Tristan try on the Halloween costume I was working on. It was a challenge for me with my deficiencies as pertains to any kind of orientation. All’s well that ends well and Tristan made a very fine dancing shark. Riley made herself up to be a little, pink, Piggy.
We did not have a Thanksgiving Family gathering in 2020 due to the pandemic. To the best of my knowledge, it was the only year I celebrated Thanksgiving without family and friends. With almost everyone vaccinated, we felt comfortable gathering in 2021.
Conversations with several family members led to re-consideration of how we wanted to honor this tradition. Most participants were indifferent as to whether we celebrated on Thanksgiving Day. Switching up the date would mean the flights would be cheaper and airports less crowded. However, it did present challenges to children in school. Everyone was in favor of making it simpler. Some voted to have a family gathering independent of Thanksgiving entirely. In the end we decided to celebrate on November 13th and to move it to Florida. Our Floridian family members have born the task of flying for years.
The Best Laid Plans….. Covid Strikes Back
Susan, David and Brenna had to hold up the younger generation’s end as last minute Covid infections took out some who planned to come – Tristan days before he was eligible for vaccination, Mike, who caught it from Tristan and Brian. Marilla and Mitch, having vacationed with family for several weeks earlier in the year chose not to come.
That left us with several extra bedrooms and we filled them with friends, Diana, Ruth, Ann Marie and Matt. Sometimes we elect change and sometimes it is imposed by circumstances. Those who could not participate were surely missed, but the inclusion of these friends certainly marks our 2021 Thanksgiving as one of the very best.
Each Thanksgiving is unique and 2021 was remarkably different from all others. We spent an entire week together. Many brought contributions from home including breakfasts to please any pallet (pumpkin rolls, egg bites, waffles, English muffins, baked eggs, smoked salmon and cream cheese (and bagels))….
We simplified the menu, keeping some favorites (mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, brussel sprouts, string beans, roasted roots and added a cornbread and sweet potato casserole (no doubt I missed some).
Lunches throughout the week were a wide variety of “appetizers” which for prior Thanksgivings were saved for lunch on Thanksgiving day.
We reduced the number of pies to 6 and started eating Margaret’s contributions of lemon tart and peanut butter and chocolate pie BEFORE Thanksgiving day. We played board games that Marilyn brought and labored over a ridiculously difficult puzzle Susan contributed.
We took a walk through Robinson’s Preserve across the water from Ana Maria Island, FL, sighting many waterfowl and birds of prey.
We rested, gathered, shopped, ate, drank and thoroughly and completely enjoyed each other’s company.
And a week later, we were on a plane to Grenada.