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Thoughts of Thanksgiving

Lizzy Ryan

(12/2010) We have a huge family, like over 100 people. Itís so big that we have our own calendar (and thatís just on my momís side of the family). Each individual family has their own month. My Grandfather is one of thirteen, so that explains the big family.

Almost our whole family gets together for Thanksgiving. Each individual family is in charge of the cooking and decorations every year. Since our family is so large we need a large place to celebrate Thanksgiving because no one would ever be able to fit everybody in a house. For a very long time we would have our Thanksgiving in a fire hall where they had a very big kitchen and dining hall. Then the fire hall was sold a few years ago so we are now having our thanksgiving in the Sacred Heart Basilicaís School cafeteria since most of our family belongs to that parish.

Our family had the honor of cooking and decorating last year. Just so you know, our family is so artistic we beat all the other familiesí decorating by far. We strung twinkling lights everywhere and served the family instead of them getting their own food in a buffet type set-up.

We had the typical Thanksgiving food: turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, and my grandmotherís homemade stuffing, plus lots more. Every year I look forward to the yummy food and, of course, to see my family, although I donít know the names of half the people in my family; I can only recognize their faces.

So here I am around a bunch of people that I donít know. I keep asking my grandparents who everybody is. It sometimes gets annoying. Of course being in an active Catholic family, we have mass before our meal. When we were at the fire hall my great-uncle (who is a monseiner) would set up an alter there in which to say mass. Now we get to have mass in the actual basilica. Itís very nice to be able to celebrate with the whole family.

It really stinks that my sister, who goes to Delone had Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday off around the Thanksgiving holiday. I only had Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday off. But during that vacation time, we not only were able to spend time with my momís side of the family, but we drove to New York to visit my dadís brother, wife and daughter.

My Uncle Kurt, a colonel in the army, is stationed in New York at Fort Drumm. We donít get to see them very often, so it was really nice to visit with them a few days. We had our second thanksgiving meal on Saturday, when my aunt Jennifer and my mom prepared another meal. Spending time with my cousin was nice too.

On another note, we have chickens, or should I say, had, chickens. My sister and I went out to take care of the exotic chickens that I had mentioned in other articles and they were all gone. Some were scattered dead all over our yard. We were extremely sad considering that we spent a lot of time with them, and they were like pets.

It was weird, though, because we had a total of 24 of them that were gone. There was only one survivor, and he was a special chicken that I named Pretty Boy. He did have scratches on him though like something tried to get him but couldnít. He was pretty traumatized.

After a bit of research we had decided that it was either a raccoon or a weasel. We did end up getting three adult hens from Whitmore Farm, an organic farm in Emmitsburg for Pretty Boy to be with so he wouldnít be alone. I think we will be getting 25 more chicks in the spring. Although now we know that we have to come up with a solution to the free roam chickens and pen them in a yard with a netting over top to protect them.

This isnít the first time that this has happened. Another time, a few years ago, we had gotten home and all the chickens disappeared. No remains and no feathers-they were just gone. My dad always jokes that aliens probably came down and abducted them. If nothing else, we have learned that they will need some protection at our house.

Family and animals are so much a part of my life. I wish everyone the same joy that I have in spending the holidays with those that are most important in your life.

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