Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Advent!

I never wished anyone here in blogland a Happy Thanksgiving, so I'll jump right into the current season and wish you all a Happy Advent!

We still haven't celebrated our first Thanksgiving in Virginia since we drove to Tennessee last week in order to be with family.   Mr. Biggs came along since he's too difficult to leave behind now that he's getting more and more "tottery" in his old age.  Our helpful neighbor Sharon offered to take care of Atta and Noel even though she had family coming over for the holiday..... talk about nice!

When we drove away from Rockbridge County in the AM on Wednesday, it was one of the most glorious days that we'd seen this fall.  The leaves are off all of the hardwoods, but the day was so clear and bright that each branch of the trees on the mountainsides was sharply distinct.  We saw hilltops beyond hilltops that we had never noticed before and houses nestled in the woods that were previously obscured by foliage.

When we neared the VA/TN border, it got a little drizzly and then ..... a rainbow!  

I was driving but Joe took a few snapshots through the car window.  
Stretching across much of the sky, it had the shadow of a second arc next to it and we could clearly see each of the seven color bands;  it was as if VA was wishing us goodbye! 

The four sons were scattered across the country for the holiday, each of them spending the day with friends in their respective home states, so we didn't see any of them.  But Tennessee is home to my sister and brother-in-law, my nephew and his wife (is she my niece-in-law?... that doesn't sound right?), and my adorable great-niece and great-nephew.

The torch of hosting Thanksgiving dinner was passed to the younger generation and though hampered by having only one oven which was just big enough to hold the turkey and no side dishes, they did a great job!  We were full and just a little uncomfortable from making room for a little more of everything on our plates!

A cautionary word of advice for anyone else with one oven:  If you are tempted to fire up the outdoor BBQ/smoker in order to cook and heat side dishes, DON'T!

Proof that we aren't as intelligent as I'd like to think is the fact that not a single one of the seven adults present thought of taking the turkey out of the oven and putting it in the smoker instead of the towering stack of casseroles which my nephew had balanced above the charcoal.  This oh-so-obvious solution was suggested by a neighbor here in VA after we were telling him the tale of the burnt green beans!

It was my first time to meet my "new" great nephew (he's almost 20 months old!) and I hadn't seen his sister since she was a baby, so the feast was secondary to spending the day with family and getting to know the kids.  Having folks descend on your house when you are the parents of toddlers and preschoolers isn't easy, and they probably collapsed in bed for days after we left!

We returned to VA on Friday in time to take part in the community tree lighting and caroling down Main Street.
When darkness fell, we lit candles and walked through downtown behind Santa and Mrs. Claus who were riding in a carriage pulled by two beautiful white horses with sleigh bells jingling.
The caroling was a little haphazard as the crowd of 400 was spread out so far from front to back, but the glow of candlelight illuminated smiles all around and the crisp weather made for a fine evening.

Farewell to Thanksgiving and let the Advent preparations for Christmas begin!  


  1. i like the candles for the caroling and tree lighting festivities. :) beautiful rainbow!

  2. I'm glad you had a nice turkey day. Family is so important. I am really enjoying your attitude toward your newly adopted state, too. I am glad you like it.

  3. That photo of all the candles is stirring! And that rainbow!!

    We usually do our turkey on the grill or smoker. That frees up my oven.

  4. Grace...So glad you are home dafe and sound. Hope you did not have to fight the terrible traffic coming up from Johnson City. It can be the worst. My son from Seattle - actually Bainbridge Island - will be flying into DCA Saturday, renting a car, and driving home to see Mommy for the first time in 2 years. Gene is coming hone, too, with ELoise from Richmond. I am so excited I am about to burst. Saturday cannot come soon enough. Told the secretary at school I will NOT be there on Monday. Ridge will leave Mon. nite about 5 to drive back to DC for a meeting on Tues. Then he has to fly to NYC for another one, and then back to Seattle. Once I get over this happy time, we will have to get together in town. I can’t wait to meet you. This is such fun. I have been meaning to ask you where you were in Tennessee. I was married in Old Hickory (Nashville) where my sister lived and then they moved to Chattanooga. Patricia died of cancer and is buried in the National Veteran’s Cemetery. Oh, and my daddy was form New Orleans.vLove your rainbow and your photos form downtown. We went for years, but I do not go anymore. It is just too much. Hope to see you soon. genie

  5. Hi Grace, beautiful rainbow shots. Glad you had a nice Thanksgiving as did we on our travels to NJ and then back home on Sunday. Our town doesn't host a holiday parade so it was nice to see yours.

  6. Glad you had a nice Thanksgiving with family. That picture of the rainbow is spectacular!

  7. I agree on the rainbow; that second shot fabulous! Still recovering from the medical experiments and dying to get out with the cameras. If my cabin fever is this bad before winter gets here I'll probably lose what's left of my mind by the time the snow flies!


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