Our family Thanksgiving was not on the traditional Thursday.
Instead, we planned for Thanksgiving Saturday at our daughter Rachel's home. That left some of our family members free to have turkey on Thursday with their in-laws.
It really doesn't matter what day a family eats together. All that counts for us is that we get together somewhere, sometime.
Even though we decided on the place and time weeks ago, things changed.
We switched from Rachel's home to Russell's. It turned out that Rachel, Dave and the twins had the opportunity to take an extra-long weekend trip to North Carolina to visit Great-Grandma Rose, Arianna Rose's namesake.
The rest of our family would miss them for our turkey feast, but we couldn't begrudge Great-Grandma Rose the visit.
Rachel started getting Arianna and Eli ready for the 16-hour car trip, broken up over two days. She told the kids how much fun they would have in the car. There would be games and prizes!
Rachel also bought snacks for the trip; snacks that no one in the family is allowed to eat, but for this long drive rules were out the window.
Of course, I was worried about this great adventure the Giblin family was undertaking. It was to begin at three in the morning, when they would leave their home in Madison and head toward North Caroline with sleeping kids.
Even though we weren't hosting Thanksgiving at our home, I had to roast a turkey that Thursday. I couldn't pass up the great price for a bird at Don's Market in Seymour. Bob was looking forward to the leftovers and turkey soup, too.
As I put our bird in the oven, I thought about Rachel and her family already hours into their long drive.
While our turkey roasted, I went to check Facebook. To my surprise, there was a post there from Rachel:
"Well, that was the shortest road trip ever. Made it 15 minutes away from home before Eli got sick (twice). Looks like his fever is kicking in and we are in for a long weekend at home. I don't think a 16-hour drive is a good idea, no matter how disappointing it might be."
When we talked later with Rachel, we found out that Eli let go with a sour burp when getting into the car that morning. "I'm fine. I'm fine," he proclaimed. But even though his heart was set for their big adventure, his stomach wasn't.
After throwing up a second time Eli whimpered, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry." The poor kid was totally bummed out because they were returning home and not going on their road trip.
When back home, Eli was cleaned up. His parents wondered if the sickness was just from trip excitement, but the thermometer showed that Eli had a fever, so it was more than getting up in the middle of the night and being packed up for their North Carolina trip.
Arianna didn't want to be left out of the special attention her twin brother was getting, so they took her temperature, too. Arianna's temperature was higher than Eli's. The stomach virus hit her harder than her brother.
A bucket was her constant companion the rest of the day.
Rachel wrote again: "Not only was it the shortest road trip ever (15 minutes before Eli threw up), it was also the most expensive at $20 per minute (between food, games/toys, and boarding the dogs). Even though we are disappointed we didn't make it down to NC, I am very happy we can be miserable at home. This would not have been fun 16 hours from home."
Luckily, both kids bounced back and the whole Giblin family joined us at Russell and Cynthia's home on Saturday. Everyone seemed to be well and happy, until Daddy Dave started feeling odd. He left the celebration early, a third victim of that wicked stomach virus.
The sickness took its time with the Giblin branch of our family. Eli had a relapse. Mommy Rachel played nursemaid for her family all weekend. It sure wasn't the vacation anyone had planned. But after surviving it, going back to a regular work schedule was a pleasure.
No other Manzke contracted the virus. Bob and I came home to eat turkey leftovers. They are even better the second and third day.
Now Thanksgiving is past. Christmas looms ahead. That family gathering is scheduled for the 25th, here on the farm. Fingers are crossed for good health and clear skies.
On Saturday, Dec. 15, I will be joining three other local authors for a book signing. Colette Bezio, Colleen Sutherland, Wade Peterson, and I will be at Sissy's Treats and Treasures, 205 N Main St, Seymour, from 3-5 pm. Come drink tea and buy a book or two. If you can't make the signing, but need one of my books as a Christmas gift, please contact me. Books are $10 dollars each, plus $5 postage.
Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; Sunnybook@aol.com; www.susanmanzke.net; http://www.facebook.com/susan.manzke.