Mmm... turkey. What could make a holiday better? Ooh... I know: A can of jellied cranberry sauce, properly chilled, and with the can's ribs impressed on the quivering cylinder! YES!
Ah, but that's a bit ahead of the story.
The story, like so many of ours, starts with a truck filled to capacity with stuff. Um... actually, that's not true. It was conspicuously empty. So much so that Amy and I were seriously concerned that we had left something critical behind. When we couldn't figure that out we picked up Clara at school and headed south to Portland. Along the way we dodged accidents and traffic, but still didn't make it to Goggi's place until just before dinner.
The night started well enough, but degraded when Henry woke. Just as he got back to sleep Clara was up. Then it was Lilly. In the end Amy took Henry and moved into another bedroom so we could all get some rest. It worked to some degree, but kids get up early.
No matter, we had to get going early anyway. As Clara and Lilly have come to understand, and repeat over and over, "No coffee makes Daddy go crazy." Before we could really consider anything else I snuck the girls in to the truck and headed to Starbucks where they explored what would happen if they didn't get donuts. ("No donut makes Clara and Lilly go crazy.")
Thanksgiving itself was at Chris and Shannon's house. I deferred to Amy and Goggi who got the fancy front seats and the kids who got the entire middle row. My entrance and exit was through the trunk. Amy sometimes even unlocked the door for me.
The rest of the day was somewhat of a blur. (Amy will say it was the wine, but I'm not buying it.) The kids would run upstairs after Shannon's daughter Sierra. The kids would run downstairs away from Sierra. Sierra would wander the house yelling, "Clara? Lilly?" All three would scream and run in different directions.
Henry spent his time being passed from one relative to the next. His highlight was on the floor with Haley, Shannon's younger daughter who was only a few weeks older. For some reason each thought the other had feet of tastiness and proceeded to try to consume. We stopped them before it became a scene from Alive, but then Haley stole Henry's silky. Dear Goodness! (They were separated shortly after that.)
Special thanks for dinner goes to just about everyone who had a hand in the meal, but especially to Amy and Papa who worked hard to extract the cranberry sauce from the can without marring the purple goodness.
If the wine clouded the day it was the turkey that made the evening hazy. Next thing I knew we were back at Goggi's place, which is itself on the bottom of Amy's aunt and uncle's house. The night was better than the last with fewer awakenings, though still not perfect.
Morning came far too soon and was only made easier with a trip to Starbucks as we headed across town to Grams and Gramps' house. I kicked the kids and Amy out and hit the road toward Mt. Hood. (You didn't think there'd be a trip to Portland without and adventure, did you?) I had a great day on the mountain. Check out the trip to the Silcox Hut.
After the day above the clouds I got back in time for dinner and, of course, the first watching of White Christmas. The girls each got new fans and made the most of them. Clara snapped back a year and remembered almost every move and Lilly followed along trying to replicate her big sister. Not surprisingly, Lilly wasn't quite as plugged in so she spent much of the movie fanning Henry who giggled like there were three sisters, not just two.
No surprise, the next morning started at Starbucks. Mmm... caffeine. The rest of the day we spent chilling with Goggi. There are usually so many others buzzing about that the kids don't get to spend any real time with Goggi, but Saturday morning was quiet or at least a quiet as three kids can be.
Nana and Papa swung by for lunch and later Paul, Rose, Laurel, and Aubrey came home. Laurel mistakenly admitted she'd never seen White Christmas and that gave me an opportunity to watch the end of the Apple Cup, though I wish I'd skipped it. (The kids still aren't allowed to go to WSU.)
The ride home was amazingly free of traffic, but full of sleeping. Amy knocked off several podcasts while I developed wicked cramps in my neck after falling asleep. The kids transferred and as soon as we had made a monster pile of dirty clothes in the laundry room we did, too.
But that's not it! What about Tokul? She had spent the holiday at Grandma Joan's. I was really worried about bad traffic, but it turned out to be non-existent. Nonetheless, I parked and walked across. The Raulys (Amy, Ryan, and the trips) were also on the boat so I stopped by and managed to make two of them cry.
After freezing on the car deck for the ride home (no dogs upstairs) the girls were thrilled to see Tokul. Unfortunately, she's usually just another thing in the house, but both Clara and Lilly gave her special pets and cuddles reassuring me that even if they didn't know it they were thankful she was there. (Get it? "Thankful" after Thanksgiving? Har har... um... har.)