we gather {life}

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Look. I know you don't want to hear about Thanksgiving again. It's been ten days people. I get that. I'll try not to bore you here, but. But. How can I not take you back to our visit and honor the wonderful time that we had with our dear friends? Will I take you nibble by nibble on our meal? I'll try not to. Will I take you moment by moment through the weekend? Sigh. I'll try not to. Will I look back on the wonderful time we had and drag you along with me? Shrugs and grins sheepishly. Here you go.

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cards and games and football and laughter

We've been friends with these guys for nearly a decade now. We've shared holidays and picnics, some heartache and a lot of joy. They've moved twice and we haven't. When we got to their house late afternoon the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the kids had a moment or two of shyness before quickly sharing stories over Minecraft and tips over Halo. Within half and hour they were chowing down over chicken wings and chowder (I kid you not) and the grown-ups were out the door to this place for dinner. It was nice. I'd go back.

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official turkey and tee shirts, costumed plungers and gray skies

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bundled spectators, chilly water and awesome hats

brave men face the water and return to the waiting arms of their towel holder!

For 11 years now, Nantucket has hosted the Cold Turkey Plunge to benefit the local children's library. My friend Megan had asked if we wanted to participate before we even arrived. Callum was an unequivocal yes. Neel an equally emphatic no. In the end, none of Megan and Jon's kids could be persuaded, so Cal and Jon braved the cold, and together with a great crowd (which included Vice President Joe Biden and his grandkids) the dove into the water at Children's Beach. What I love about this series of photos is how tense the look before they plunged and how happy they look after. They said it wasn't that bad. Hmmmm. The costumes were pretty funny too.


Conquering heroes.


forgotten sides and fire nights and baking (pumpkin roll)

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lighting the candles at dinner and prosecco and twilight time

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eggs and pumpkin rolls and all hands on deck


cocktails, a time or two


watching football and playing football, racing cars and dashing caps

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I'll tell you more about Nantucket specifically later this week, but for me the keys to the visit were cooking together and being together. The kids played cards more than they played video games and one night we all locked in a violent game of spoons. The weather was crisp and not too chilly so we took long walks and the kids played football in a nearby field. We nibbled on cheese and crackers and had a cocktail or two. Time slipped lazily sideways. Just the way I like it.


Thanksgiving was the best of course. We did the plunge in the morning and had a leisurely rest of the day cooking and chatting. Took a long walk along a bluff in the afternoon and came back for a late dinner with ever-hopeful doggies. The boys were corralled into collared shirts and we ate until we were full and ate some more. And then there was some football. It's not a bad way to spend a holiday. On Friday, after shopping in town and a few other stops, we had Thanksgiving dinner on repeat. It was necessary since halfway through serving on Thursday we realized we'd forgotten to make two of the sides! Potatoes! Brussels!


After our toast, we went around the table talking about what we were grateful for. It was a little funny; it's hard for kids to not be a little bit self-conscious during times like that. But for the most part, even in the middle of all the joking and laughing, everyone was genuinely grateful and unafraid to say it. What did I say, I'm sure you're wondering? Well, I'm grateful for my family and for friends who feel like family. It's a lot to be grateful for.