Thanksgiving celebrations started early this year.
Though not officially tabbed as a Thanksgiving get-together, my recent sibling reunion on the second day of November, I think, qualifies. We had no turkey. No cranberry sauce, cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole or pumpkin pie graced the table.
We did have hot dogs, hamburgers, beans, Carolina pulled-pork barbecue (best by far) and a plethora of pies, cakes, chips and dips and plenty of sweet tea (which in South Carolina is a redundancy). All three of my brothers and my one sister, our Princess, attended, along with their families, significant others, a gaggle or two of cousins, some grandchildren and my Uncle Mack, now the elder statesman of the Smith clan.
It was the first time we had gotten together since last January. It was a happy event. We laughed a good bit and we told tales—some of which were actually true—and reminisced about our childhoods, which our long-suffering spouses contend is never-ending.
My older brother Steve, who, with his wife Amelia, graciously hosted the event at their Spartanburg, S.C., home, was caught on camera playing a toy drum while his adorable granddaughter Callan strummed the guitar and sang. I’d have bought a ticket to witness that. As soon as I figure out how to post to YouTube I’ll share the magic moments with the world.
My grandsons, Aaron and Hunter, seemed a bit overwhelmed by the raucous nature of our family banter—in a good way.
“Bubba (that’s me), your family is awesome!” Aaron said during a short break in the noise.
“You have an awesome family,” Hunter added. “I see where you get it. That is, where you get your funny nature, obviously.”
Obviously. We’ve always been this way. We probably should be studied. My sister, a retired sociologist, should conduct research, but I’m convinced it comes from the water, a pristine spring that supplied the household during our formative years. Who knows what minerals bubbled up from the depths to stimulate (?) our minds?
I have noticed that our off-spring are equally blessed. My children (and grandsons, obviously) and my nieces and nephews are quick-witted and uninhibited about poking fun at their own siblings—even at their elders. It’s good to know that the tradition continues.
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We’re not through with Thanksgiving yet. We still have other family to visit and I know these gathering will also be festive, noisy and happy occasions. And that’s what I’m most thankful for on this special holiday—the gift of laughter. It’s always been the essence of my family and I’ve enjoyed it in Pat’s as well.
I am also thankful that my brothers, Brad from Beaufort, S.C., and Brian, from Jacksonville, Fla., and my sister Rhonda (No we’re not twins) from Columbia, S.C., took a day or a weekend to drive to Steve and Amelia’s house to celebrate family.
When we were young we had our squabbles; we ruffled feathers and we hurt feelings. We are siblings after all, and there are five of us and the other four did not always agree with me, sadly. But we’ve remained close, scattered across the country though we are. We Facebook, email, text—although Steve charges me 20 cents for every text message I send—and we call on occasion.
And we converge occasionally and we laugh.
Here’s hoping your Thanksgiving celebration, regardless of which day it takes place, is blessed with awesomeness, joy and laughter. And maybe a drum solo from a sibling.