The trees are changing and getting more bare. A family we know is moving this week across the country. As my husband and I have moved several times over many years, we know that when people move, they’re gone forever.

My father changes places several times per year. We try to keep in touch by email but mostly he re-sends jokes from old buddies.

My husband’s family is in place, on a ranch in Texas. Two, actually, for now. His grandmother hosts Thanksgiving for up to 60 folks every year. This is our annual family event. I started with two but think I’m up to 5-6 dishes every year. My mother-in-law and I have a cook-fest for 2-3 days and it is a joy for me to spend time with her. Lately she’s been concerned that our dog is not coming along, because she helps with floor clean-up!

It’s good to have a family that stays in the same place for decades as I’ve never had that, all my life. Nanny “adopted” me 12 years ago as my grandmothers died before I was a year old.

We only had the family, six of us, for Thanksgiving and my mother was resentful that my soon-to-be husband joined us for dinner. She placed our luggage in the hallway and told us to find a hotel. She’s gone now, no matter whether she didn’t want me ever to be born, she’s gone. I’ve a Dad and another family who actually like me.

This year I have to do boursin and spiced nuts for the kitchen table, mincemeat tarts for dessert, and I’ll try a corn custard for the main table. Yes, I may be flying in with M’s new/old sewing machine but I have a family.

Very few women have a father-in-law who says “I have to try this dish, because I know who made it.” It’s the same guy that after an hour in my presence took his son aside and said “When are you going to ask her? It’s OK with me.” It took his mother another four days but we’re OK now. Fall in love, even if your love is across the country and you only speak 15 minutes a day. Pay your cell phone bill and hope things will work out. Dee


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