I could smell the turkey from the sidewalk.
A delicious aroma.
The scent of homecoming.
My mom had prepared another memorable meal.
The entire family, except for my sister Elizabeth who’s living in Colorado but will be visiting shortly, came together Thanksgiving Day at my parents place in St. Petersburg. My brother Joel’s girlfriend, Jessi, brought her two bulldogs -- the sibling act Jefferson and Susie Q.
They had fun chasing Lucy around the house. She’s my sister Allison and her husband Chris’ cairn terrier -- a real vixen.
We were also joined by Joel’s pal Dustin, who kept up with me in the wine consumption department.
Joy came from the feast, the libations and, most of all, the company of loved ones.
We bonded over watching “The Godfather: Part II.”
Perhaps not your first choice for holiday viewing, but what I can I say?
Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorites days of the year.
One I have traditionally spent with my parents, siblings and anyone else who could use the company.
Last year at this time, though, I had recently taken a journalism job in Orange County, Calif.
My kindly neighbors in the Balboa Peninsula stretch of Newport Beach invited me over for Thanksgiving.
We had a wonderful time. But I couldn’t help but feel sad and lonely at day’s end knowing my family members were on the other side of the continent.
You could say I had a blue Christmas, too.
The same charitable neighbors had me over for dinner on the 24th. And my parents sent me a most generous care package. But there’s pretty much nothing more pitiful than spending Christmas Day alone.
I’m extremely happy that won’t be the case this year.
“Christmas Vacation” is so much more fun to watch with family and friends laughing together at classic lines like: “I had a lot of help from Jack Daniels.”