This year’s Thanksgiving was a wonderful, crazy time, one of the best I’ve had in forever.

It took some planning, but we managed to get the majority of the family in the same place at the same time — as in literally over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house.

Yep, we went “up home,” according to our varying schedules, carrying most of the food with us.

I was the first to roll out of Kentucky, taking along not only my youngest grandgirl and my dog Maggie but a 21-pound turkey, two loaves of bread for stuffing and the cans of corn needed for my mother’s fabulous scalloped corn.

I left late Tuesday afternoon, arriving around 11 p.m. The dog and the kid provided company until the hour drew late; they were both sound asleep when we rolled past the welcome sign marking the end of our journey.

My mother loves me and let me sleep in every day. She also likes to cook and fuss over people, so I got to spend Wednesday being spoiled.

Kid II left Kentucky on Thursday morning after she got off work. She had a bigger load: two girls, one girl’s boyfriend and all the baked goods for the feast.

The back of her SUV was loaded down with pumpkin pie and chocolate fudge, along with cookies and candy enough to cause a sugar high that could last until the New Year.

My nephew, who’s sort of like a second son, volunteered his house for the actual dining, so we brought the feast to the farm.

In my mom’s kitchen, the two of us made the stuffing, scalloped corn and mashed potatoes; my nephew deep-fried the turkey outside as my sister rolled in with sweet potatoes and the essential green bean casserole.

Because of distance and work schedules, it’s been a long time since I’ve sat at the Thanksgiving table with my mother and sister.

My 2-year-old great-niece was the center of attention, showing off her manners and charming us all, while we all caught up on the minutiae of life that doesn’t get told in phone calls and e-mails.

Yep, putting this Thanksgiving together was a lot of work — and worth every single moment of planning and travel.

CATHIE SHAFFER can be reached at or (606) 473-9851.

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