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Baby Alert!

Dear Kay,
People have started arriving at our house for Thanksgiving. The doorbell rings, and there are Hubbo’s brother David and Abby, who is pretty much the only woman who deserves such a guy. They are surrounded by more luggage than they have ever traveled with in their lives. It looks like they’re moving to a faraway country. As I look closer, I see the reason for the giant suitcase: a small face peering out of her baby bucket. It’s Molly, the Baby of the Year.
Within a minute, my six-year-old Clif has run off and returned with his present for Molly: a hat he made at school on a knitting frame. He has been waiting for weeks to give it to her.
Molly, David, and l’artiste, Clif
You can imagine how I reacted when Clif came home from school with his bepompommed tube of variegated goodness. Yes, we have a new pieceworker in the house. Clif’s amazing teacher Ms. Hempel has a wall full of knitting frames; the kindergartners are all busily cranking out tubes of all sizes. The hand puppet business is strong right now, and I adore Ms. Hempel.
Hubbo’s sister Liz showed up late last night from Vermont, with her sleepy brood. The house is so full right now, with five children under the age of ten here. More cousins are coming today to stay nearby.
Remember how, this past fourth of July, I was sitting at the Monteagle picnic, at our plywood slab on sawhorses, feeling snakebit and lonesome? The solution, it seems, is to fill up your house with family. It works, it really does. Get a bunch of family to show up, use every pillow and blanket, and there–life is beautiful.
Thanksgiving can be complicated. My brothers and sisters and I live in five different states. I keep asking myself why we don’t all live in the same house–wouldn’t it be more convenient if we just went all suburban kibbutz? I have long watched The Farm, an “intentional community” (aka commune dating from 1971) south of Nashville and thought, if these people would just shop at Costco every once in a while, I could live at The Farm.
I’m sorry to be missing your green bean casserole. Our family favorite is a canned asparagus casserole, which absolutely does not work if you use fresh asparagus.
Happy Thanksgiving to everybody! Keep eating!
PS Just in time for the holiday, this arrived here chez Shayne. Can you guess what’s inside? I’ll give you a hint: It’s not a case of canned asparagus. It’s not because Lynard Skynard’s reunion tour is coming to my house. It’s not a container filled with precious body parts.



  1. How wonderful. Enjoy your family and Happy Turkey Day.

  2. yay i’m the first one!
    happy thanksgiving to you too

  3. oh i guess i’m not — happy thanksgiving anyway πŸ˜‰

  4. Your clear happiness and joy with your family is what this holiday is all about. Have a wonderful holiday!

  5. Happy Thanksgiving Ann and company. Please give my best to Lizzie – it’s been eons since I saw her last.
    Clif’s hat is awesome (and I totally agree that Ms. Hempel is amazing.

  6. Thank you for making me smile; Molly is so adorable. Clif did a great job on the hat.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  7. Thank you for making me smile; Molly is so adorable. Clif did a great job on the hat.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  8. Happy Thanksgiving! Baby Molly is super cute in her hat. The Waldorf schools here all teach knitting at a very early age. In fact my first pair of wooden needles was purchased at a craft fair hand made by a first grader πŸ™‚ Knit on Clif!

  9. Suburban Kibbutz! Hahahaha! My brother is always searching the real estate adds for a “compound” for the family. Preferably close to the beach. Although I think he’s thinking more Kennedy compound than Jewish pioneers in funny worker hats singing communist fight songs while picking oranges. Been there done that! πŸ˜‰
    Have a great Thanksgiving and a wonderful time smooshing that baby! I’ll have my own little smoosher this weekend too! YAY for AUNTS!

  10. We’ll be fifteen at Thanksgiving tomorrow (down from our original 20) and I can’t wait to see everyone! The cousins (ages 1 through 11) are all so excited to see each other that they’re driving their parents very happily crazy.
    Plus, lots of knitting time, because we eat out for Thanksgiving, which has to be one of the better traditions we’ve ever come up with.
    I think this may be my favorite holiday…!

  11. Bless little Molly, who looks like she’s already fixing to crack a joke. When does she start blogging? (www.teenydeity.com)
    Very nostalgic for the days when we could not leave town without full complement of Educational Toys (remember the folding mini-gym?).
    Happy Thanksgiving, I briefly considered the bechamel, mushroom and FRESH green been casserole, but it just seems so DORKY to do an imitation green-bean casserole with, um, real food in it. love, Kay

  12. That baby is too dang cute and what a darling name! Clif is adorable, too, with that warm, open smile. Six is a magical age!

  13. Happy Thanksgiving! A full house of relatives can be so wonderful!!

  14. Ann, maybe you can get Cliff to work on prototype of the pefect handknit? Surely he could get extra credit for that.
    Enjoy your family!

  15. Lucky girl – I was lucky enough to miss having my family to my house, but I’m going to the sort-of-not-really-in-laws, so I have to cook πŸ™‚
    Happy Thanksgiving!!

  16. pregnant me got all choked up over Clif’s present—so sweet! And don’t even get me started on the baby…
    have a fabulous thanksgiving!

  17. Hello, I checked http://www.teenydeity.com and Molly says (and I quote), “I love these people and this hat is really great, but I just wish I could get my gums on some of that asparagus casserole. Does Gerber make this flavor? Must investigate.”
    We’re trying Thanksgiving blood-relative-free this year just to see how things come out. I’ll let you know.
    Happy Thanksgiving, Ya’ll. Wish I could compound with you lot (see, Kay? I’m lernin’)

  18. The picture of Molly alone is amazingly cute, but then Clif and that hat – so much sweetness! Happy Thanksgiving!

  19. I could just plotz (we’ll leave that visual to your imagination). What a baby. What a kid! It’s so awesome that he’s knitting gifts. You have a lot to be thankful for. A full house is a full heart.

  20. Tell me more about this knitting frame! Is it like that knitomatic thing Kay had? Or giant spool knitting?

  21. happy thanksgiving ~ good will, good knitting and french fried onion rings to all!

  22. what a hat! (OK… what a baby, too!)
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  23. It’s your Hogwarts trunk, or else something to do with the Mason-Dixon book, right? Tell me it’s not full of yarn!

  24. my guess for contents of the fly-case: a spinning wheel (?) or an upside-down christmas tree (had my first glimpse of those today, so i’m working them in somehow…)

  25. My guess: you’re having airline food for Thanksgiving?
    NOT a spinning wheel. You’d’ve told me if you were getting a spinning wheel, right?
    xox Kay P.S. Say it’s not a spinning wheel.

  26. I know! It’s that generator Hubbo’s been wanting!

  27. I’m with Kay: that looks like airline food. Can you get Thanksgiving dinner flown in? Are the stewardesses (pardon me, flight attendants) including in the price?
    Further (I should have clicked “questions” instead of “commnents”) Is it my imagination or does the Clif bear a striking resemblance to his uncle David?
    Such a beautiful baby!
    Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  28. Sadly, it is not a generator, but thanks for keeping the dream alive.

  29. Dear Clif,
    Well, Clif, I am soooo relieved to see that your mom gave up a scintilla of blogspace to your perfectly delightful hat. I have been watching with great expectation for the much-longed-for photo, y’know.
    It was lovely right off the frame, but it really comes to life on your sweet cousin.
    Perhaps this makes you long for a little sister? πŸ™‚
    Ms. Smith

  30. Are Elton John and Dolly Parton going to pop out of that thing to serenade your fambly over sweet potato pie? Happy Thanksgiving!

  31. I think it’s a Skynyrd Box. You put someone in it and make them listen to Sweet Home Alabama until they relent and swear they’ll never make you go there again.
    We too are having the relative-free Thanksgiving, though I’m clearly missing out on the Shayne-y goodness. Say Hi Hi (Puffy Ami Umi) to Unc & Co and Lizzie & all. We have almost settled in to our new home, and it feels good to stay here. I’m ready for the perfect pattern already! I have time to knit and nothing to work on except socks (always socks).

  32. I’ve just come from a delivery of a new baby and seeing the picture of your little one in the scrumptious hat simply leads me to sigh. They don’t stay “two-hands-around-the-middle-and-fingers-meet” little very long. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

  33. It’s not airline food that you’re serving to all those people that you LOVE…. Gasp — bookbookbook?!


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