And also some of the things we in Rome and Floyd County can be thankful for.
As far as the family festivities go, Neeve "won" hosting privileges for Thanksgiving this year. Normally she and her sister Kook fight over who gets to have everyone over. When someone on Facebook asked "little sister" (Neeve) had "won" this year, her response was thus:
"Only because the big sister will be in the middle of decorating for Christmas. She basically threw me a bone."
I suspect that Kook letting Neeve have Thanksgiving is a roundabout way of setting Neeve up for failure.
Hear me out. Thanksgiving is more about the food and the coming together than anything else. So by letting Neeve have the more subdued holiday, Kook gives herself more time to get her house beautifully decorated for Christmas so that when she hosts Christmas (she will, since Neeve "won" Thanksgiving) then everyone will be awed by all Kook's stunning Christmas decor. They'll be amazed at her hosting skills, all the great food AND the overall excitement of the holiday. Then everyone will agree (behind Neeve's back) that Kook is the better host.
I'll hand it to Kook. She knows how to play the game. She's graciously allowing Neeve to host Thanksgiving knowing full well that Christmas is the more glamorous holiday and will be her time to outshine her younger sister. How devious.
For their constant love and support to the whole family and for always opening their wonderful, warm homes to everyone, I am thankful for Neeve and Kook.
Anyhow, being the meticulous planner she is, Neeve sent out food assignments early — via text message — to the entire family. Cousin Pam won't be able to make it this year but was sure to say that she'll be sending a big cooler of the "good ice" I enjoy so much. So that's one thing I'll be very thankful for.
Cousin Traci responded with: "I will bring Mac and Cheese, deviled eggs and a desert if needed."
Since the sweet treat after a meal is spelled DESSERT, I quickly responded with "A desert? Like the Sahara? Sounds like a lot of trouble."
Freda, Traci's sister, said she'd bring the turkey and gravy.
Now Freda makes the most perfectly moist and delectable turkey while Traci makes a strawberry DESSERT that would bring a grown man to his knees, it's so good. So for these two ladies I am very very thankful.
Terra is making her delectable smashed sweet potatoes with apples on top and Kook said she'd bring slaw and "something else."
The family's matriarchs, sisters Zoodie and Billie Sue (and her husband Frank), will be there and we're always thankful for them.
Julie will hopefully make her Million Dollar Pie and her husband Barton will try his best to be social for exactly 7 minutes before he withdraws from all human interaction for the rest of the day.
I am thankful for all these people.
Lindsey (Kook's daughter) and I are responsible for supplying a big ol' ham. She's a nurse and will be working on Thanksgiving so I'm picking up the ham from Honeybaked Ham here in Rome and taking it to Neeve's in Rockmart.
Did you know you can just go online and reserve a ham from Honeybaked Ham and pick it up the day before Thanksgiving? You just get on there and choose the type you want (bone in or bone out), the size you want and the day you wanna pick it up. No waiting in a long line or fighting over the perfect ham with another customer. Yet another thing to be thankful for.
And when we do gather together at Neeve's house, we will be especially mindful that we should give thanks for each other. Despite illness and distance and all the other things that can keep us apart, we will be together.
And may I say that there are many Rome residents who will say a special "Thank You" this year since we recently learned that The Gravy Boat will be reopening. The owners took to social media recently to announce that they'll be opening mid-December at their Dean Street location. My heart and belly are thankful for their warm and delicious gravy biscuit.
Severo Avila is features editor for the Rome News-Tribune