My Thanksgiving Tradition

November 24, 2010 at 8:41 AM 10 comments

Thanksgiving with my family is all about tradition.  Thanksgiving is not a one day event; it starts Wednesday evening and it continues until Sunday.

(view at our ranch where we spend Thanksgiving)

I thought I’d give you a glimpse into the Imwalle/Reiter Thanksgiving by giving a breakdown of what happened two years ago.

Wednesday night: the entire extended family (about a group of 30) gather for crab, abalone and wine stay up until the wee hours catching up with one another.

(Flower field at the ranch)

Thursday: Thanksgiving day hike either along the coast or up in the hills for porcini mushrooms. Then it is food prep, prep and more prep.  We tend to do the turkey in as many different creative ways as possible.  I believe two years ago is was prepared in duck fat.  For our feast, we all gather in our barn and have a table that stretches the entire length.  Everyone must give a speech – all 30 of us.  Then more eating and drinking.  Two years ago, after dinner, a dance off ensued.  Each cousin danced between the stalls of the barn; I think my cousin Garland won with the best moves.  The dance competition broke out into a dance party.

(We have dinner in the white barn, shown in the background)

Friday we usually have an activity planned. We were going to have Michael Pollan, the author, come on Friday to pick Porcini mushrooms with us but he had to reschedule as his own family is in town. Two years ago we had professional tree climbers from Oregon come down.  We picked one of the tallest trees we knew of on the ranch and then they strapped ropes up to the top.

The tree my entire family climbed.

Each one of us got harnessed in and climbed about 200 feet up to the top of the tree.  Graham and I were the first ones to climb it because we had to leave on Saturday morning.  It took the tree guys all day on Friday to put up the ropes and so when we started the climb it was dusk; when we finished climbing, it was pitch black out; we could hear the owls hooting, the nocturnal animals emerging, and take in the serenity of the stars from 200 feet up.  Very cool experience!

For Friday night, we had suckling pig as our main dish.  Can you tell we have some foodies in our family?  It was very good.  Graham got the head. 🙂

On Saturday, every member of the family gave the tree climb a try.  Every member but my dad; he was completely satisfied in watching everyone else give it a try.

My brothers free climbed the last 40 feet of the tree, free climbing 200 feet up in the air.

View from the top.

It is a strange and sad feeling that just two years ago dad was present and feeling so well.  At that point the chemo was working miracles and he felt healthy.  He toasted everyone at Thanksgiving, he even danced and he sat and watched as everyone climbed up the massive tree.  I miss him dearly and I miss the warmth and energy he would bring to family events.

Dad and I catching some rays on the ranch lawn.

I think I can safely say that we have the best Thanksgiving ever!  Now you can see why this is my favorite holiday! I’m going to be taking the rest of the week off as we don’t get cell or internet reception at the ranch – a very relaxing break. I wanted to wish you the very merriest of Thanksgivings! And tell each one of you I’m so thankful that you’re a reader!

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Katy  |  November 24, 2010 at 10:09 AM

    I’ve been hearing about your outstanding Thanksgivings since 1995 and I’ve never failed to be a little jealous! The ranch is a magical place and when you bring in 30 or so awesome people, it’s bound to be great. Have a Happy Thanksgiving my friend!

    Reply
  • 3. Katy  |  November 24, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    2 more things. 1. I love that photo of you and your Dad. He loved hanging out with you doing things like catching rays and putting on make-up! 2. Beautiful photos of the ranch!!

    Reply
    • 4. katecollinsinteriors  |  November 30, 2010 at 12:22 PM

      Thanks! I love that photo as well – it really epitomizes what the two of us liked to do – lounge around and take in the sun.

      Reply
  • 5. Allison Reiter  |  November 24, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    (I’m supposed to be working right now, oops) Cant wait to see you guys!!! Barn DP, here I come 🙂

    Reply
  • 7. Pete  |  November 24, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    Kate,

    Another great read. You are such a good storyteller. Always the perfect amount of detail to add texture, but never so much to slow down your story. I never heard the tree climbing story. Classic memory. We’ll miss you guys at Thanksgiving. My Mom and Dad and Mike and Terri are coming here with Lindsay’s family, but well all be in San Jose at Christmas. We have to try to get the whole clan together at some point.

    Cheers, Pete

    Reply
    • 8. katecollinsinteriors  |  November 30, 2010 at 12:23 PM

      Thank you very much, Pete! That’s the ultimate compliment. We had a great Thanksgiving and I hope that all of you did as well. Hope to see you over Christmas!

      Reply
  • 9. Erin  |  November 24, 2010 at 3:14 PM

    Amazing! I am so inspired by you and your family. Hope you have another year full of lovely memories- Happy Thanksgiving!

    Reply
    • 10. katecollinsinteriors  |  November 30, 2010 at 12:24 PM

      Thank you! Happy Thanksgiving to you as well! I hope you had a great one.

      Reply

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