Where everybody knows your name

One by one, each family arrives.   Some juggling diaper bags and babies, others carrying pies or cases of drinks.
Of course, they don't knock.  There is no need.  They are my family which means this is their home. "Mi casa es su casa" and all that.

The people who are already here let out a big "Yay!"  and rush to the door to greet, hug and kiss everyone. 
We shout out their names. 
Everyone is glad to see each other.
More hugs. More kisses.  (It's the Cuban way.)

The babies are all passed around to be loved and held and played with.
We catch up quickly on the latest things going on in our lives and we talk (I don't know how to do "small talk" - it seems, well, so. . . small.  Who cares what's on tv?!?  We couldn't enter in to a tv-related conversation anyway, because we don't watch tv, but that' s not important right now) and share the things that are important to us.

We play games.  Scrabble and Rummikub and Boggle.
There is no room in my tiny kitchen and yet there are too many of us crowded in there, laughing and sharing the task of getting food on the tables.
We effortlessly flow in and out from English to Spanish and back.
These people are sooo noisy!  (I love that.) =D

Pictures!  I take tons of pictures. The couples. The families.  The sisters. The cousins. The grandkids. My mom. The tables. The food.  (Yay!  Food pictures! =D)
We find our places and thank God for his generous provision once again this year.

After all the Thanksgiving festivities, they stay.
Adam and Al pick up their guitars.  Lucy plays the piano.  We sing.  Yes, I know how goofy and dorky that must sound. But, I swear we do.  (I will post that video soon.)  ;-)

We leave the clean up for later.  It's more important to spend time together.
The tables are cleared off after dessert.
"Bring out the cards!" 
We play our favorite card game, Continental (a kind of rummy) for hours.  Hours! 
My mom always wants to play for money and we all know this, so everyone brings lots of silver. ;-)
If it gets really late, someone will undoubtedly get hungry again, so we start making turkey sandwiches.
Or have more dessert.

The last few leave close to midnight.
I cannot imagine my life without them.  I feel genuinely rich.
These are the people who know me and love me and think I am okay.

Amy made this video a few years ago.  It shows Thanksgiving with my big, fat Cuban family in my teeny, tiny house. =D  The song is from an old tv show and if I had my way, I would use it for every single video showing a family together.  (I'm a total dork that way.)

Because home is where everybody knows your name.  ;-)

Happy Thanksgiving!