So, we were supposed to go to Sean & Jessa's house in Charlottesville today for a big family Thanksgiving dinner. I was in charge of most of the pies and half of the beer as well as the cut veggies/fruit for kids. Well, Sunday night Griff threw up, with repeat performances Monday morning and evening, and his stomach hurt through Wednesday morning. On Tuesday evening I had a horrible attack of nausea on my way home from my book group - that's really unusual for me outside of pregnancy and ONE stomach bug I've had in the last 30+ years.
I'm a stickler about full disclosure when it comes to contagious illness of any sort - or even allergies. I think people hanging out with us deserve to know what the score is, what the reason is for symptoms they can see as well as the nature of any concerning symptoms they can't see that might be spread to them. Then they can decide whether or not they want to keep company with us. A runny nose might not seem like a big deal, but it is to the mother of a child who's super-prone to respiratory infections, or a pregnant woman, or the mother of a newborn. When we get to big nasties like flu or stomach bugs, I take it to the next level and batten the hatches. Quarantine. Yay. Not much fun for us but I just plain don't think it's ok to expose people to that level of illness. So, were we safe for Thanksgiving dinner? I wouldn't want to hang out with us with that level of uncertainty. When might it strike again? Griff seemed fine by Thursday, but was I totally in the clear? Was somebody else brewing? I couldn't accept the possibility of exposing my one-year-old nephew and eight-week-old niece, and their mothers agreed, better to be safe than sorry.
The result: unexpected totally-alone Thanksgiving Day for our little family of 5. I think maybe Dan and I had one alone Turkey Day when he was in residency, but other than that and one or two years we hosted, we've always traveled. Dan and I put together a menu on Wednesday night and I had the pleasure (seriously, I enjoyed it) of being that last-minute cranberry sauce shopper. Thursday I brined a chicken - no need for a huge turkey, and hey, side bonus of quicker brine and cook time! - while we all went for a walk. I had been eyeing some beautyberries that were begging for macros and it was the most beautiful day we'd had in a long time. Gorgeous sun, short-sleeve or long-sleeve temperatures, yellow ginko leaves all over the ground and a few last red maple leaves clinging to their branches. The boys had a great time playing and biking in the lot next to the berry bush, I was content in my photo groove, we got a ton of family pictures, and everybody loved the walk. Back home, we put together pumpkin pie and a Thanksgiving tree with leaves we collected and a strip of paper for each of us naming one thing we're grateful for. Dinner proceded at its own pace, without need to accommodate anyone's schedule or tastes but our own. Everybody ate the foods and treats they liked and left the rest.
Honestly, I think it was the best Thanksgiving ever. And of course, I've made a flickr set for it. Sneak peek below.