Our first stop was the Walmart that's about 1 minute away from our house. There were a few last-minute things that Papa needed to grab from the store. Plus, all of us were hungry, and Mama thought it might be a good idea to pick up a snack since we had a long drive ahead of us. Papa brought back popcorn chicken for Mama's little girls and some popcorn shrimp for the rest of us. It was really yummy...I wished I didn't have to share with everyone else!
The drive took a long time, although it wasn't as long as the drive to Eureka last summer. Tess and I took turns looking out the window.
It was fun looking out the windshield, too. I loved how misty and drizzly it was. Tess did too. We're both of the opinion that misty, drizzly days have much more potential than one that's bright and sunny. I mean, think about it, what gripping story starts with "It was a sunny, cheerful day...."? ;)
Just when we were getting really tired of being in the car, Papa pulled off the road. We had arrived!! Sadly, there was no snow, so we would have to stay cooped up in the house the entire time.
The last chapter of the book suggested a fun Thanksgiving tradition. In honor of the legend of the 5 corn kernels, everyone at the table is given 5 kernels of corn, a piece of paper, and a pen. You write down 5 things you're thankful for. Then, you pass a basket or bowl around the table and put one kernel in the bowl at a time. As you put the kernel in, you tell everyone the first thing on your list. The bowl or basket goes around the table 5 times, until everyone has had a chance to share all 5 items on their paper.
I thought this was a great idea. So often, we get so caught up in eating and watching football at Thanksgiving that we forget the whole point of the holiday: to thank God for His many blessings.
Tess and I decided we wanted to try the 5 kernel thing, so we asked Mama about it. Apparently, she and the rest of the humans were planning on doing it, too. Only, Mama hadn't been able to find any corn kernels, so she brought wooden beads instead. I...guess that works...sorta. ;)
I wrote out my list fairly quickly. I wondered what Tess would write on hers.
I was starting to get pretty hungry, but Mama said that it wasn't quite time to eat yet. Tess went over and started re-reading some of the Thanksgiving book, but I was bored with reading.
Then I noticed the puzzle sitting out on the hearth (and no, there wasn't a fire going!). I love doing puzzles! I figured if I was careful enough, no one would notice me there. When I got closer, I saw that it was pretty challenging, but that was just fine with me. The harder the challenge, the more thrilling it was to complete! I was able to put a few pieces together, but it was slow going (especially since I was trying to remain unnoticed by the other humans).
I was a little bit startled when Papa's father came over and sat down next to me to work on the puzzle. I froze in my spot, hoping he hadn't seen me move. He didn't say anything if he did, but simply started putting pieces together beside me. Then, without batting an eyelash, he picked up a couple of pieces that I'd been working on, fit them together, and showed them to me. I wasn't sure if he was really trying to help or just teasing. Most grownups besides Mama didn't even notice I existed. And how was I supposed to respond? If he didn't realize I was alive, I didn't want to startle him by thanking him for his help.
I hesitated for a moment before deciding that my normal smile would be the best response. That way he would know I wasn't being rude, but he also wouldn't be scared out of his wits by an unexpected response. It must have been the right decision, because he added the pieces to the puzzle and continued working quietly beside me.
I didn't dare to move after that. Thankfully, Mama noticed my predicament and came and got me. She placed me next to Tess and asked me to "please attempt to stay out of trouble". Tess hid a smile, but not before I saw it.
Just when I thought I would die of starvation, Mama told us that the food was ready. Of course, then she explained that we'd have to wait until the humans had eaten. There wasn't enough room at the table for all of us. Hmph. Nice manners, Mama. Why did you even tell us about the food if we couldn't eat it yet?
I decided to go with her so that I could at least look at it!
Isn't that a beautiful turkey? I couldn't wait to taste it!
One interesting thing that Papa's sister did was mash sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes. Almost everyone on that side of the family (and Mama too) is trying to eat low glycemic foods, so sweet potatoes were a better choice. I didn't really mind them, but I definitely prefer real potatoes. And I did not like mashed sweet potatoes with gravy! Sweet and salty together just isn't my thing.
After what seemed like an eternity, it was finally our turn to eat. Papa's sister had these plates that were just our size, which made eating our meal much easier!
We both loved the food. Tess especially enjoyed the salad and the homemade whole wheat roll.
My favorite parts were the turkey and dressing. Yum! :)
We finished our meal with generous helpings of dessert.
Tess opted for this delicious homemade pumpkin pie.
I'm a big fan of pumpkin pie myself, but I really wanted to try this apple crumble dessert. It was really tasty! Mama said it was from a low glycemic recipe. Whatever. As long as it tastes good, I don't care what it is. That's one of the advantages of being a doll and not a human: you don't have to worry so much about nutritional value and all that. ;)
It was a great visit overall. We stayed really late and then drove back in the cold, dark rain. I don't remember much of the trip home, because I fell asleep within minutes.
One thing I realized over Thanksgiving was how much I missed spending time with Tess. She's made a few hinting comments about missing me over the past few weeks, but I didn't think about it myself until today. We haven't really been moving in the same circles lately...pretty much since Rachel came back from Eureka with me. Rachel and I really connected, but I guess I've kinda been leaving Tess out of things. Not intentionally or anything. Still, it's something I'd like to change. I mean, Tess and I are about as different as different can be, but we go way back. She'll always be special to me. She's always there for me, quietly waiting in the background, always supportive and loving.
Okay, I'm starting to get all sappy here. I guess I just want to make sure that I include Tess a little more in the future. She's a pretty special friend, even if she does use big words, draw hearts on her papers, and memorize Jane Austen books. I'm really thankful for her, and I want to make sure she knows it. :)
Well, that's about it. I hope all of you enjoyed a great Thanksgiving with your family and friends. Talk to you again soon!