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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving past: Willis fights, scrabble, stretch pants and kids... lots of kids

Not doing Thanksgiving this year.   Just not ready for a big holiday without my Mom.  Not depressed.  Not down.  Just... not ready.  

My Jake and Blake will be at their fathers and our Ryno is going to his Moms... so it'll be me and the Bear.   I've asked my groom to take me hunting tomorrow morning.   I had to twist his arm... hard.  lol

But... Thanksgivings as a child?  They rocked!!

The Willis group was big.  All my aunts had 4-6 kids each.  But, I was raised an only child.  SOOOOOO  I totally loved all the cousin fun.   My Mom had seven siblings.   The oldest, Aunt Rosalie was gone usually.   But after her, there was (in order of oldest to youngest) Aunt Sally, Aunt Jo, Uncle Bubba, Aunt Mary, Aunt Nancy, Aunt Billie and my Mom... Audrey.   I had a special relationship with them each.   Except aunt Billie... she thought I was spoiled and bathed too much.   LOL  I remember my mom defending me... Ya see... Aunt Billie had mostly boys.  And boys.. aren't known for their high attention to hygeine.    If I went outside and played for an hour and got sweaty, I was coming in to take a bath (only to go back out  This annoyed her to no end.   I still like to be clean.. I'm funny that way.

   Back to Thanksgiving though...  we had big meals!   We kids always laughed that them women... they wouldn't cook for us kids on a daily basis, but let us all gather and the cooking skills came out the closet.   LOL   Ohhhh and I recall us kids playing outside so the adults could talk.   I always hated being sent from the room because they wanted to talk about something I couldn't hear.   Soooooo wanted to be a grown up.   Now I are and I'd trade     Two of the aunts would eventually have a disagreement and get into an argument.  THAT was when the real fun began.  One year it was over the football game.   LOL  Most of them were die hard Cowboys fans.    No one messed with my Mom though.   See... Audrey was the baby.  And not one of the sisters would allow anyone to be ugly to the baby.   So she got a "pass" on the drama.    But always tried to make it stop.    By this time though one of the aunts had gathered their 4-5 kids and just left.   LOVED watching the action... HATED watching the cousins leave because of it. 

  Family called me Jo Ellen or Jo Baby.   Mom named me after Aunt Jo and she said from the beginning it would NOT be "big Jo" and "little Jo"  and called me Jo Baby instead.   I don't recall us kids ever getting in the spats on these occasions.  Of course... maybe I was just never involved because I was Audrey's baby.

The aunts and Mom played scrabble... a lot.   In their stretch pants I might add....HA!     They were all so smart.... but eventually there would be an arguement over a  of course.   Was glad when they finally came out with that little scrabble word book.    My Mom and I played scrabble a lot when it was just us.   Oooohhh and I remember when Aunt Jo bought the deluxe scrabble game.   Pimping!   I still have my Uncle Bubba's scrabble set.   This looks like an old tattered game with mixed tiles (you know... some are blonde and some the maroon wood)... but to me... it's childhood memories.

Of Mom's generation, everyone but Aunt Rosalie have passed away now. I treasure the trip I made to Tennessee in October to see her.  It was important to do that.   Love and miss her.  And some of the cousins have passed too.    It hits me sometimes that we ARE that generation now.   And we're spread out ... we aren't all in the same area like they were.  No big family gatherings here anymore.   They do see their own siblings though and their kids get together.  Guess that's the downfall of being raised an only child...  And the siblings I have found, live from Austin Tx to Murray KY.   

 Once I got older, I did Thanksgiving for my kids and my Mom more than anything.   It was important to her.  To be with her grandkids.   and me too maybe.   So... I'm not up for it this year... a Momless Thanksgiving.  It's not that I'm depressed... and I AM thankful! HOW lucky am I?  Seriously... to have God, my boys & Jenn, my husband, grandkids, my life, my work family, my health and the capability to fill my pantry and gas tank when needed... I have so many blessings I can't even count them.  But one of my greatest appreciations in life is for having her in the first place... Mom.

So no turkey this year.  I'm trying to talk myself into the Christmas tree still... lol

You may not understand this, but I would give anything to see a WILLIS sister brawl about now...


  1. true that, jobaby,(little jo , jojo, sister to all cousins, good friend and playmate as a child) i think we all understand the family dynamic that was then and almost crave for it now. arguments don't necessarly tear people apart, in some instances it brings them together.

  2. Jo, I'll fight you if it would make you feel better.

  3. Awwwwww Jason... You say the sweetest things! (calling you tommorrow.. prolly for Thursday.. love you!)

    Andy... I couldn't agree more. I love you my baby cousin!