Sunday, December 1, 2013

Invasion of the All Night Gang

Ahh, Thanksgiving. Arguably my favorite holiday of the year.

When I was still a working chap, I eagerly looked forward to Thanksgiving each year. It served somewhat as a warmup for Christmas and New Year's.

We try not to travel during holidays anymore. There is simply too much traffic. And I never want to fly during the holidays. I don't like crowds, and I certainly don't like getting stranded when weather turns bad. Now that we are retired, we can travel whenever we want, so we opt to travel when others don't.

So, we plan to stay home during holidays from now on. So for this first Thanksgiving in our new house, daughter Courtney, son-in-law Michael, grandson #1 Xander (short for Alexander, aka the Godfather), and grandson #2 Camden (aka the Sheriff) came for a visit.

Camden is now about 4 months, so he is different each time we see him. He is beginning to develop a personality, but he still keeps everyone hopping. I can hear Courtney up with him at all hours of the night, and I laugh quietly to myself in a Bill Cosby satisfied sort of way.

I've revived a long tradition of ours this year, one I gave up a few years ago. Donna muscled me into buying a smoker. She wanted a smoked turkey this holiday. So, I set up the new smoker, tested, and got ready for Thanksgiving. Now, I take my smoking seriously. I begin the process about midnight. I get the fire going, add oak or mesquite wood chunks that have been soaking all day, fill a water pan with water, beer, and other flavored liquids, and put the turkey on. Throughout the night, I add more charcoal and more soaked wood. The turkey cooks over indirect heat and smoke and is ready for lunch on Thanksgiving. Now, I'm biased, but I absolutely love turkey cooked this way. And I'm not a big turkey fan. I normally won't eat turkey except when I've smoked it.

So, as I would get up periodically throughout the night to add more charcoal and wood to the smoker, I'd hear my daughter and grandson #2. As you've heard said before, the best thing about being a grandparent is that you can enjoy your grandchildren and then send them home. So, after a day or so, my life returns to a quiet normal, but the "All Night Gang" continues their late-night vigils of warming bottles and changing diapers.

Ah, payback is so much fun.

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