As we prepare to add a new set of Thanksgiving memories to the files, we joyfully reflect back on Thanksgiving 2014 - the Thankgiving of "no-parents, no-rules!", Williston, ND.
The years 2013-2014, for the extended Harrington clan, saw some fairly major changes. Big moves: across the state, to other states; graduations and the beginnings of grad programs; engagements, wedding plans and a wedding; business start-ups; and all the small, bric-a-brac that accompanies life - giving fullness while also contributing to all the mundane. Therefore, as Thanksgiving 2014 approached, the Harrington children and their partners in crime (be it dog, spouse or both), were eager to spend the holiday creating a new, different set of memories, specifically a set of memories, that regrettably would leave out the parents.
With satisfied bellies and a recently walked mutt, Mike and Melissa continued on and after having endured blowing snow and the flat-flat lands of North Dakota, were welcomed into the home of Molly and Landon. As one would expect (regardless of whether parents are present or not) the foursome cracked open some beers, found some snacks and caught up, made jokes and plotted the Thanksgiving festivities.Prior to Mike and Melissa entering the scene for a Harrington Thanksgiving minus Tom and Patty, they took a minor (read, major) detour through Spearfish, SD in order to share a round of drinks, fine lunch fare and heartfelt hugs with Melissa's parents and sister/sister's family clan. A cozy lunch stop at the Bay Leaf in Spearfish left Mike and Melissa feeling the true warmth of the season regardless of the frigid temperatures outside (and unbeknownst to them, the long miles yet ahead on their journey to Williston, ND).
The following day saw the arrival of Katie, Zuma and friend of the two, (soon to be friend of us all) Kristina.The day was spent baking, snacking, boozing (seriously: no-parents, no rules!), lounging, being impressed with Kristina's ability to win over the sassy little Lady Annyeong. As the dinner hour made it's appearance we opted to shove ourselves into one vehcile and head over to Williston Brewing Company (which ironically does not brew any beer of their own - BUT do provide a decent selection of local brews, so...) Full bellies, lots of laughter and a continued mantra of "No Parents - No Rules" lead the Williston Thanksgiving clan back to Chokecherry Lane for shots of Patron (with cinnamon sprinkled orange slices rather than salty limes...a VERY good idea), Rumchata Root Beer Floats, Apple Crown on the Rocks, glasses of wine, bottles of imperial stouts and imperial black IPAs, and on and on.
Thanksgiving morning brought with it the tried and true American tradition of enjoying the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Meanwhile and throughout, Landon began preparations of the big meal and the day carried forth with all the makings of a perfect holiday meal: Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, vegetables, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, the whole works! With full hearts and fuller glasses of wine the clan sat down to enjoy all the holiday had to offer. Games of Pandemic, viewings of football/futbol and of course boozing (including Bloody Mary's the morning after) rounded out the holiday weekend on the whole. While the entire clan knew that having had parents would have changed little in terms of thier holiday enjoyment, the mantra of "No Parents - No Rules" carried them through and will forever summarize Thanksgiving 2014. Among the most memorable of holidays, when all were young adults, conquering change and putting tradition (new and old) at the center of all things to be carried into the always unpredictable, always full, future.