Thoughts on Welcoming a Daughter-in-Law
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A Thanksgiving Throwback


Tom and I started dating during the summer of 1979 . . . when we were both home for summer break.  I was between my sophomore and junior years at the University of Wyoming; he was heading into his senior year at Boise State University.

We headed back to our respective colleges in the fall -- but our relationship held through the distance.  We managed to visit back and forth about once a month (usually traveling by Amtrak), and our phone bills were pretty high.  We also wrote letters.  (Lots and lots of letters!)

At Thanksgiving, I decided to drive up to Boise (a 17 hour trip) to be with Tom.  (I found a couple of other UW students who wanted to go to Idaho Falls, so they helped pay for gas and shared the driving.)  It was my first Thanksgiving away from my family -- and the first time Tom and I would celebrate the holiday together.  

We took these pictures of each other before our dinner that day.

Tom at TG 1979
Tom at TG 1979

And what do we remember most about that glorious meal now . . . 36 years later?

  • Tom recalls that we didn't thaw the turkey (about a 9-pounder) in time -- and ended up leaving it out on the counter all night.  (And we lived to tell the tale!)
  • I remember that our attempt at gravy failed miserably -- and, in fact, settled into a horrific 3-layer conglomeration that was not edible at all.
  • We both remember that we'd eaten big chunks of pie (probably for breakfast), but hid that fact in the photos with a clever placement of the wine bottle.  (Remember that Almaden wine???)
  • I also remember that my Mom wasn't terribly keen about my driving that far - or my not being home for the holiday.  In the end, though (because she really liked Tom), she gave me her blessing -- and sent us the centerpiece for our table.

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving -- and such fun to remember that holiday way back then!


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Wow these pictures take me back to early Thanksgivings in our marriage! I think it's lovely to look back and see that you both looked happy and fun even all those years ago. :-)


So fun and that wine bottle! I can almost taste it. And your Mom is the best to send the centerpiece.


Almaden wine was only for very fancy special times! You created memorable moments right from your first holiday together!


what great photos! (and I'm struck by how much your kids resemble you both!) Almaden wine, ah yes, I do remember. and also Lambrusco?!

Kim in Oregon

I love that you still have the pictures! I have NO pictures from my college days in the 1970s! Sad face.


Almaden, also Matteus (sp?), and another pink wine in a pottery like bottle--the elixir of the gods. Clearly, you are following in your mother's footsteps...allowing your children space and trusting their decisions. The first on your own Thanksgiving meal is quite the project. I remember using boxed bread cubes which created a pretty dry dressing. Fun memories--thanks for sharing yours!


I remember that wine! Sounds like a perfect first Thanksgiving together!


Aw. I saw the card in the floral arrangement and immediately thought that it was probably from your mom! That's funny about the pie/wine bottle. ;)


That looks like a great Thanksgiving; you and Tom both look like you might be all of 15 years old (and very happy!) Hoping you have pie for breakfast, thaw the turkey in the refrigerator, maybe have some delicious Almaden, and are even happier this year at Thanksgiving!

Cheryl S.

Isn't that Mateus? Not that I would recognize the bottle or anything. Ahem.


What a great're so lucky to have photos of your early years together! I lost every single photo that was ever taken many years ago when my parents basement was flooded for two weeks and no one knew it (they were traveling!). What a mess...and what a loss!
Don't you just love to have pie for breakfast the morning after Thanksgiving? It's the best!!!


Great photos! I too have no college photos. Not too sure why, other than I didn't have a camera and life just happened. I remember Almaden wine. :-)


Oh god I remember the first thanksgiving I did. And I'm sure you do to. Because I kept calling you being like "Mom, the turkey is doing a thing! Is it supposed to do this thing? Mom, how do you COMPLETELY mash a potato? OH GOD WHY IS THE TURKEY STILL MADE OF ICE!?"

But it worked out.

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