Thanksgiving in this crazy COVID year of 2020 bucked many a tradition. For starters it was just us three that gathered. Sadly, this was the year we lost our last parent (Marie's wonderful dad) so the usual draw of over the river to grandparents' house or to a sibling's house with grandparents there was not an option. To be cautious, the six Emmett siblings and the ten Tueller siblings all decided to keep apart for this holiday. Even the five of us was not an option--Joel is on a mission and Sarah is six miles away at BYU and not wanting to possibly be a plague carrier to her older parents. So the three of us decided to enjoy at least the tradition of a turkey dinner and all the fixens.
Kind Aunt Rachel made sure that we did keep the tradition of Tueller nut cups alive with a mid-morning drop by visit with nut cups for us all. She then made her way northward dropping off more nut cups at every Tueller household (at least seven) between Springville and her home in West Jordan. Marie reciprocated with a home made lemon pie--last night she delivered homemade apple pies to her two sisters in Provo. Rachel was not the only guest to drop by today. Aunt Anna dropped off homemade bread for us to use for turkey sandwiches over the next few days.
Throughout the day, birds dropped by too. When we cleaned out our parents house five years ago, I brought home an unopened contained of Quaker Oats. It sat in our food storage room for all these years. When oatmeal for breakfast because a thing during our five-at-home few months of quarantine, I opened up the container only to find that the oatmeal was a bit too old to my liking. So it has become bird feed. Every few days I throw a handful out on our patio which brings lots of bird guests to our view.
Will's job was to peel and mash the potatoes. He did a great job.
My job was candied yams (actually sweet potatoes and without marshmallows)--just like my mom made. It's been years since I had them since in larger family gatherings someone else always bring their own variety of yams. They turned out great and just like I remember them (thanks mom and thanks Betty Crocker).
My other main task was setting the table. I had fun pulling out table ware from my parents' house. When Sarah was four she made the center piece at a neighborhood mommies preschool. Marie conquered with aplomb all of the other tasks: roasting the BYU Christmas gift turkey, baking the rolls and pies, and making the stuffing, fruit salad, cranberries, beans and gravy.
First to eat was Joel in Manchester New Hampshire. He and four other office elders gathered in the Relief Society room of the mission office/church house where they enjoyed a delicious meal brought in by Brother and Sister Dickson (bless them) from the Manchester Ward and who had recently returned from serving as senior missionaries.
We delivered turkey, cranberry sauce, rolls, and an apple pie to Sarah
and then we dug in to a delicious meal. Will was delighted to get a
whole turkey leg to himself, which he devoured with great gusto. Marie enjoyed the white meat and I the dark.
Last to eat were Sarah and her cousin/roommate Lucy. They cooked part of their meal which was augmented by deliveries from Marie and Lucy's grandma Dearden.
Then for the best part of the day the five of us, plus Aunt Rachel from her home, got to Facebook Messenger chat with Joel. On Tuesday he got an email with fight reservations to fly to Ghana on December 10th where he will then serve in the Ghana Cape Coast Mission for the remaining seven months of his mission. It was fun to get all the details. His biggest concern is staying healthy between now and the 10th. Joel told us he may be going back to Ghana a few weeks ago when he got a message from the Missionary Travel office asking him to make sure his immunizations were all up to date. Prior to that, I had already ordered two sweaters and a fleece for Joel's Christmas presents. I held off mailing them waiting to see if a return to Africa would actually come true. It did, much to Joel's delight. To my delight, I now have two new nice sweaters, including the maroon one I wore today, and Will is getting a new fleece fro Christmas.
While making room for Marie's pies, the three of us enjoyed watching The Boy who Harnessed the Wind on Netflix. An excellent true story movie about life in rural Malawi where a drought almost defeats a family. It was a good reminder that running water, ready energy and more than a single simple meal a day is truly a blessing. I guess I shouldn't complain that our dishwasher stopped draining today and leaked out all over the kitchen floor.