November 27, 2016 (by Angela)
Jim took the week of Thanksgiving off from work, so we had time to travel back to the TN/MS/AL area. Traveling most of the day on the 22nd by car (we could move faster by car rather than towing the camper for just a few nights away), we arrived in Savannah, Tennessee, early enough to take care of most of our home-state business. We made a quick stop at Green Acres and were lucky enough to get to see Diane, Larry, and Danielle. Chewie was a very happy pup to be there for a bit. Then we traveled on down to Corinth, Mississippi, where we made a quick stop at our storage unit, checked into a hotel, and had dinner in one of Jim’s favorite eateries in the area, Hagy’s Catfish Hotel.
Jim had an eye exam scheduled at the Dodd Eye Clinic in their Corinth office the next morning. Exam completed, new glasses ordered, and checked out of the hotel, we returned to Savannah to pick up some meds that were not going to be available until after 11:00 a.m. on the 23rd. From there we traveled to Florence, Alabama, connecting with Rachel and Hershel (Nathaniel was at work) for a short visit and lunch.
Leaving Florence, we continued to Decatur, Alabama. After checking into the hotel, Jim and Chewie decided a nap was in order while we awaited the arrival of Amanda and her family. As the boys slept, I slipped over to my Dad and Nancy’s house, which would be the seen of Thanksgiving turkey and turmoil the next day, for a quiet visit before the various smaller family groups would arrive for the big family gathering.
Once Amanda and crew arrived from the Mississippi Gulf Coast, we all headed for a late supper at O’Charley’s, and then we went to our respective rooms to attempt sleep. Unfortunately for Amanda and Brett, Jim and I were much more successful in getting sleep than the parents of the two young ones as we learned at breakfast the next morning. Papa Dude (Jim) and I attempted to give them a brief reprieve; at least their ears got a short break from Sammy’s non-stop cheerful chatter.
On to the Turner household, we found my step-mom, who prepared the entire dinner for the masses, running a well-oiled Thanksgiving campaign as smoothly as any veteran commander. The food was amazingly good, the table set to perfection, and it was all served quickly and efficiently, making for an awesome family dinner together. This was extra special since it was the last time we’ll have the chance to have Amanda’s family with us for Thanksgiving for years. They soon depart for Japan due to Brett’s service in the Air Force.
Having great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, parents (aka “kids”), grandchildren (aka “grands”), and even step-siblings/cousins present together in peace and harmony with conversations, laughter, and naps was better than I could ever have imagined. Here’s a picture collage of the day.
After leaving Decatur in the late afternoon, Jim and I headed to Columbia, Tennessee, to meet our newest grandchild, Alexander Mathias Angus, who was born on the Monday before Thanksgiving. He and his Mom Casey had only come home from the hospital late afternoon the day before. Their family was the only ones absent from the Decatur Turkey Day Family Party, understandably so. The hotel for Thanksgiving night was in Franklin, Tennessee, and the next morning, we hit I-40 W and made our way back to our home on the roam in Arkansas.
As I think about the two family weekends (the weekend with Jim’s side of the family is shared here) in November, I feel extremely blessed and thankful for our ever-expanding family.