I woke this morning to the sound of my grandsons chatting over Hubby's extensive pin collection. He has a corkboard, about three feet tall, nearly covered in commemorative pins of all kinds, going back to his days in the Boy Scouts. Wherever we go, he looks for more of these little pins, and many of them are recognizably iconic, even to young children. Squeaker and DoodleBug were especially excited to spot Mickey Mouse.
Thanksgiving is a great family holiday, and I've noted before that it is my favorite. Hubby and I spent the morning yesterday working together to prepare the feast, and such was our level of organization that we had every single dish prepped and in progress for the 6 PM meal by noon. Kids and grandkids began arriving at about three, and things stayed hectic until midnight, when I looked at the clock and realized...oh, it's only 7:30. Lordy, I don't quite have as much stamina as I used to!
Due to a recent job loss, Curlygirl and SqueakersDaddy are on a very tight budget this year, and although I have a theoretical objection to shopping on Thanksgiving Day, I understood their need to make the most of a limited amount of cash (and their need for transport) so I agreed to let them hire Babygirl to watch the boys overnight at our house (she's still headache free, thanks be to God) and drove them out to wherever they needed to go. (As a side note, I have worked both Thanksgiving and Christmas day in a retail shop back in the early 1980's. I needed the money. Although shopping and spending time outside of the home on these days is more common now, it is by no means a NEW phenomenon. Of course as a physician working those days is hardly a rarity one way or another.)
There were a lot of people out there. We missed the first wave of crazy, but there were a LOT of people for all of that. I'm not a fan of WalMart, but the store was fairly full of people, about like it is on the first Saturday after the local University opens in the fall and all of the students are looking for microwaves and mini-fridges. But I'd say about one in three of the people there were employees, most with carts full of merchandise needing reshelving. I ran into one that I knew, and she said that there had hardly been room to move about three hours earlier. Overhead announcements were instructing employees to go to the produce aisle to pick up toys. It must have been complete chaos.
We checked out a couple other stores and came home at about 1:30 AM, officially into Black Friday. So the sound of little voices and the pitter patter of little feet (seriously? Squeaker sounds like a baby T-rex when he runs) was perhaps not the joyous wake-up call it might otherwise have been.
But hearing DoodleBug's excited chatter, and Squeaker's I-worship-my-big-brother echo of everything he had to say was a sweet blessing as Hubby pushed a cup of coffee into my hands with a kiss. Our Leftover Night Dinner tonight will continue to echo our gratitude for the love that surrounds us here.