Friday, November 26, 2010

We Ate Thanksgiving Dinner At Cracker Barrel

I'm being for real, ya'll.  Here's proof!

But you know, it was very tasty and the right thing for this year.  I sure did miss my mom's amazing (and huge) spread this Thanksgiving.  But here is the story of how we ended up eating and laughing around a table for nine at the restaurant my parents used to stop at for at least two meals a day on our road trips down 95 each summer of my childhood.

This past June my grandma, who lives with my parents, fell and broke her hip while on a visit to my brother's house in Pennsylvania with my mom and dad.  This unfortunate event brought on a surgery, an extended hospital and rehab stay in Pennsylvania for her and my mom, and then extensive rehab here at home once they were able to return.  Obviously a hip break is not good for seniors, and about two weeks ago on top of her hip pain she started feeling quite sick.  And then she wasn't getting better. Things were going from bad to worse and my mom was exhausted from all the care this involved, and of course very concerned for her mom's health.  Wednesday afternoon she took my grandma to the hospital, where she was admitted for fluids and to try to regain some strength.

So that same afternoon I called my mom and told her that while we absolutely adore our Thanksgiving meal we share each year, we all think we should go to Cracker Barrel this year, and asked her please to not try to host our Thanksgiving dinner on top of everything going on. I told her we would have our meal sometime in the next week or so when things settle down, and promised we were all okay with this low key, stress free option that is five minutes from the hospital.

And to our surprise, she agreed!

So on Thanksgiving Day, our family met up with a few other family members (and my dad who had waited an hour to get us a table, bless his heart) and we enjoyed a surprisingly wonderful (and very inexpensive) Thanksgiving meal.  The place was packed and we found out why - we were served biscuits, ham, turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, green beans, dressing, pie, and a drink for $8.99 a person ($4.49 for kids).  My mom was marveling at the good taste and the price and the fact that she would have no dishes to do, and she said she could get used to this...

And I promptly told her not to get too used to it!!  :) 

It definitely wasn't the same as home.  But it was nice. Very nice.  I must say, if you ever find yourself in a bind on Thanksgiving with family members in the hospital or too tight a budget to buy the groceries for a feast or sick loved ones or being just plain too tired to do it all....Cracker Barrel is a good fallback!  The pumpkin streusel pie is absolutely outrageous.  And we were glad to be together and had a great time laughing and enjoying ourselves, even though we had a last minute change of plans.

 You can be thankful together and enjoy family anywhere, that is for sure!

After we ate, we visited my grandma in the hospital.  She was doing fairly well, but very weak.  If you would say a prayer for our family, we'd sure appreciate it...

I gather that we should all be more thankful for good health.  It's easy to take it for granted.

And I will look back at this Thanksgiving and remember the year we ate at Cracker Barrel at the last minute and be reminded of flexibility, contentment, and laughter around a round table for nine with brown paper menus, good iced tea, and some seriously killer pie.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!  Hope your day was blessed and content.

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