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This is what I wore to Thanksgiving dinner today. Kurt said I looked like a well-dressed Jedi, so I’m posing like I’m using the Force or something. The belt ended up being too tight, so I left it in the car and just wore the scarf like a normal person would wear a scarf. I probably got the scarf at a Goodwill for $4, and the dress underneath it for $10. It’s a sweater dress with short sleeves and a big floppy collar. But this post isn’t about the clothes.

This year, Kurt and I had planned to fly to Missouri for Thanksgiving. His parents bought the tickets before Kurt knew for certain whether he’d have to work or not. He had just started a new job at Fred Meyer, and by the time he asked for the time off, it was already too late. He was scheduled to work all week. And having only Thanksgiving day off, we decided it would cost too much to go down to Cowiche to see my family if we were going to go down there for Christmas anyway, so we ended up having dinner with Kurt’s great-uncle Charles and great-aunt Bobbie in Shoreline, a 25-minute drive north-west of Kirkland. Charles has eight kids. Only three of them were there, but it was still a full house. All three are married, and there are five kids between two of the couples. One family had also brought two exchange students with them. We had already met about half of the party at previous visits to Charles and Bobbie’s house.

Dinner was delicious. Typical turkey dinner with mashed potatoes and all of the traditional Thanksgiving fixings. After everyone had finished, we discovered that this family was Jewish, for they all recited a short prayer in Hebrew while Charles lit the menorah for the first night of Hanukkah. Apparently, the last time Hanukkah started on Thanksgiving was in the year 1888, and the next time will be in the year 81056. Special indeed! And Bobbie had planned gifts for everyone who came! She took such care finding the right book for each person, as she buys books for Hanukkah every year, with each recipient in mind specifically. Kurt got “Beloved” by Toni Morrison and I got “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood. How did she know that my favorite genre of literature (besides murder mysteries) is futuristic dystopia? When all the books were distributed, we dug into the pumpkin and apple pie and chocolate chip cookies.

When we were all full, most of the adults sat down to a game of Taboo. My team won. Charles’ son Dans (?) told me afterward that I was really good at the game, to which I replied, “I grew up playing a lot of Catchphrase with my family, just to pass the time. You get really good at clues. When my brother and I first played it with our college friends, they thought we were telepathic.” Which is true. We had a good time laughing at the little girls running around and being generally silly, sharing about our jobs and how we met, and just listening to a big happy family interact. It was a good Thanksgiving. I’m glad we had somewhere to go even though our original plan fell through. It all worked out. It really is a blessing that Kurt has some family here, with his parents and cousins being off in Missouri or Colorado and all of his friends being all over the country. He misses them all the time. I’m thankful this year that we still had someone to break bread with when we couldn’t see either of our immediate families. It was a good night.

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