Friday, November 28, 2014

Invisible Guests

The blog break is on hold for another week or so! I need to learn to read the calendar! Meanwhile, like you, I've been in Thanksgiving overload, with two Thanksgivings on the menu. The first was Rick, me and my dad's cousin, Marie. We also had some invisible guests.

My Facebook friend Beth was one of them. We "met" when she found me through the Gypsy as one who knew my late and forever friend, Patricia. We've never met but have became fast friends and remain so. We both found this wonderful recipe for Sweet Potatoes and when I served them, I thought of her. Here they are before...

And after!

Blog friend Linda was there, too. This tablecloth was courtesy of Linda (actually a bed cover but it works for me this way!) Thanks, Linda!

My Cleveland family was there in the presence of the corn casserole from cousin Bonnie. Easy (a can each of whole kernel and creamed corn, 2 eggs, a box of jiffy cornbread, 8 oz of sour cream -- I used light -- and butter on the top. I added panko. It's a fave!)

Of course mom and dad were there with the family crystal, silver and turkey dishes.

And a lot of people were in our hearts, if not at the table.

I was so glad Marie could join us -- my only known relative on dad's side (although I'm sure there are second or third or removed cousins somewhere out there!).

We'll have a second Thanksgiving today -- Friday -- with the kids (and their dogs). And that will be equally filling and wonderful.

I've heard a lot of people say Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday. Apart from eating well (and hopefully bringing a dish to pass!), there are no obligations to the holiday. No presents required, no frantic shopping or wondering who you forgot. I've had a lot of memorable Thanksgivings -- the one after Rick's bike accident that was thrown together Thanksgiving morning (the best); the one where Rick's tenant and neighbor on the other side of his duplex was found that morning by his children, a suicide (the worst).

When we're at Rick's, I bring the turkey dishes and the centerpiece (if you watch Ina Garten's "Barefoot Contessa" and hear me say that on Thanksgiving, I play "Miguel," her table-setting friend, you'll know what I mean!). He'll always do the potatoes and gravy (not my strong suit) and make the pumpkin pie (ditto). We've built our own traditions in the 18 years we've been together.

And for this, and for still having family on dad's side, and for all the invisible guests in my heart -- I am most grateful. Thank you.


Joanne Huffman said...

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it's about family, friends, food, and sharing. I like that so many people have more than one Thanksgiving. Your first one looks great; enjoy your second one.

Mae Travels said...

I didn't think about them as "invisible guests" but we had a lot of them as well. Very beautiful idea!

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

I enjoy Thanksgiving, too. It's a quiet holiday, and I like that. The photos of you and your dad's cousin are great! So glad you could spend time with her. And I like how you remember the "invisible" guests, the connections that stay with us.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I love the idea of invisible guests! How special to have little things around the table to remind you of others that are not there. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I agree that it's the best holiday of the year. I like the lack of pressure. It's all about eating and having fun together as a family. And lots of game playing here! So far I've played 3 different card games and 2 games of Scrabble so I am in heaven. :) I hope you have a great 2nd Thanksgiving tonight!

Anonymous said...

Jeanie, first of all thank you so much for faithfully visiting my blog and always leaving such sweet comments. Due to personal issues, I've been a bit MIA with regard to my blog, so that anyone even comes by anymore really means a lot. Thank you ever so much!

Thanksgiving is definitely my favorite holiday. Has been for years.

I love the idea of having loved ones join us through a recipe or a piece of crystal. Thinking of it like that means our dear ones will never "really" be missing from our feast (or our hearts).

Love and blessings,

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

Everything looks so festive and delicious. We had our share of invisible guests for Thanksgiving also. So many memories!

The French Hutch said...

What a wonderful and happy day this must have been. Family, friends and the food looks so delicious.
Thanks for sharing your day Jeanie..........

Marilyn said...

How beautiful! What a lovely honor to all the unseen guests. For me it was my grandfather's china. How lovely to have Marie in your life.

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Dear Jeanie,
It looks as if you had a wonderful day, one you will tuck away in your memory and cherish.
I agree with many here, Thanksgiving is about Family, friends and food.. and for the most part, stress free.
Thank you for the beautiful post, and for your friendship.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh Jeanie, I so enjoyed this read. I have often thought of this idea, because it is so true. Your dear parents with your in the beautiful crystal setting, a friend with you through the yummy recipe....this gives a totally different and much more important meaning to family heirlooms or antiques. They are not just a frivolous accessory. They are vessels of memories of those past, or a recipe or gift from a friend you've never met holds a spirit of grace. THAT IS AWESOME.

Much love to you dearest Jeanie, Anita

Beth M. said...

Thank you again for including me in your Thanksgiving! :)

It's such a basic concept--food, family, friends--but this holiday is still epic in my opinion. (Leftovers don't hurt the cause either. *wink*)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful spread!
Hosting Thanksgiving has been difficult for me, primarily because of the turkey roasting.

This year, my nephew and his wife hosted, and I enjoyed it very much.

Maggie said...

Loved the thought of your invisible guests, a beautiful way to remember family and friends at any time of the year. Great recipes to share, too, thanks!

Bella Rum said...

These traditions that we carry on from year to year, even though our circumstances change and we lose and gain people in our lives, keep families and friends in the forefront of our minds and hearts. You've captured that feeling perfectly here, Jeanie.

That sweet potato dish looks wonderful. I jumped over and got the recipe. You set the most beautiful tables. So inviting. I'm glad you had a nice Thanksgiving.

must love junk said...

Sounds like a wonderful day with family and friends! :)

Connie said...

The name that you picked for your blog brought me here (so cute), but the warm glow of family and your amazing art journals hooked me. Your blog is such a mix of charm and creativity. I enjoyed my visit so much that I have become your newest follower. I hope that you will visit my blog and maybe even follow me back. I'm a wife, mom and grandma. Who didn't become grandma until age 60; at one point I asked my daughter if she and her husband were going to make me a grandma before I was using a walker to get around, LOL.
Happy to meet you.
Connie :)

Jennifer Richardson said...

Invisible, how I love that idea.
Gives me grateful shivers.
I'll remember that.
Thanks for sharing the beauty
of your feast,
(your life is the feast:))

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

My goodness! This post makes me want to do it all over again! Yummy! And such a lovely table cover. It's a bittersweet family time thinking of all our loved ones here and gone. It seems you had a lovely Thanksgiving. I hope December is wonderful for you!

psychelyn said...

Hi, I'm not sure what happened to my comment but I think I did comment on this post. Sometimes, I write a long comment and it disappears even before publishing.

Anyway, I just want to say that everything on your table is very inviting. :) The thoughts, the things, the food and the people around this table must be very interesting to have a conversation with.

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Dearest Jeanie
This is my favourite Thanksgiving post.
You have really opened your heart to your family who have passed on and friends both real and virtual.
That is the real meaning of thanksgiving.
Wonderful reminiscing on past family times for both you and Marie!
Our Christmas dinner celebration is somewhat the same, listening to the Christmas carols in the background always take me back to my childhood days! Remember our happy family and having to 'make do' with what there was available after the war. An orange and a small bar of chocolate was a real treat!
Shane x

shoreacres said...

Oh, my gosh! What a wonderful way to include the "absent ones" in your feast! That tablecloth is so fine. It's so great to see it in a new home where it will be loved.

Like everyone else, I was intrigued by that sweet potato recipe, and am going to give it a try. My favorite sweet potato dish right now is the one with spinach or kale. It's nice to have a savory option Sweet is good, but this is the season of too many sweets, and an option's great.

I'm so glad your time was good. We've so much to be grateful for!

Retired English Teacher said...

The idea of remembering those invisible friends and family at Thanksgiving is a great one. I will have to remember that. I also think of those not with us as I use favorite dishes or prepare favorite dishes from the past.

Your Thanksgiving post was one brimming over with just that: thanksgiving.

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