One of our favorite sayings in the editorial halls of Existing In BFE is, "Never let the facts get in the way of a good story." Frankly, I don't know if this is one of our Thanksgiving Day feasts at home or not. But there is every indication that it is. Note that it is Fall since both Phil and Herb are wearing sweaters. We never cooked out for Christmas, so we can eliminate that holiday. Looks like we have chicken on the grill so that conforms to "Cooking Most Foul" for Thanksgiving. It is also raining which necessitates indoor grilling.
Phil looks to be enjoying a cigar which Herb probably offered as he did often. He preferred Dutch Master's Presidents. I'm not sure what kind of ventilation we had in the garage but cooking on the grill is fairly common throughout the year in Northlandia regardless of the weather.
Meeting in Seaton for the major holidays was pretty much a requirement. The picture shown was of the Polaroid variety which is what I used for years. As I go through the albums it is amazing that they have withstood so well through the years, except this one. This one is beginning to show the blemishes and color fading that sometimes attacks old Poloroids. So here we are having a cookout with Herb playing chef and Phil offering his assistance.
Distinguishing the cars to determine a viable date is pretty tough. The car between Herb and Phil looks to be a 1981 Pontiac Bonneville but I can't remember the vehicles everyone had in those years. Cars developed boilerplate styling so it was tough. The car in front in the driveway doesn't match up with any Olds Toronado pics that I thought they owned once but the truck behind it in the back may be my Isuzu Trooper. That may have been in the mid 80's.
Anyway, let's not let the facts get in the way of this story, however. It was Thanksgiving around the early to mid 80's and on this raining chilly day we had chicken on the grill. And we were all together. Family get-togethers followed a kind of set routine. Arriving we 'd get all the serious particulars out of the way: job is going well, the kids at the Mary are a source of pleasure and pain, the house needed some repairs, cost me such-and-such, and then on to the fun. This is where the boys and very often the father would get going on about male-stuff and generally getting the mother grossed-out with our stories. Everyone played a part and she loved it. Actually not he gross-out stuff, but the fact that we were all back to gather at home.
Then we would all eat and gravitate toward the TV where a football game would be playing. Marj knew that in a family with 4 men she had to sink or swim, so she followed the games with as much interest as she could muster. Maybe outside for a quick toss of the football, a joint chat session where the boys would evaluate how the folks were doing, and maybe some rough-and-tumble on the floor. Afternoon turned into evening and eventually one of us would have to get going - thus breaking up the temporary alliance again.
Not different from most families. The ritual of togetherness enacted like it did when we all lived there. It is the particular pain of a parent - to lose children to live their own lives. It is what made Thanksgiving, and Christmas and all the other times we headed home a chance to relive the days when the family was whole. To breath life, ever so hopefully again, into the heart of a family.