Thanksgiving 2022

My cousin Lori Wade and her husband Bill Wade invited my sister Nicole Hammill, her husband Tracey Hammill, and me to join them for Thanksgiving at Lori’s home in rural Platt City, Missouri. We were joined by Lori’s father Wes on Thanksgiving Day.

My cousin Lori, my sisters Nicole, and I pose for a photo in Lori's living room.
My cousin Lori, my sisters Nicole, and I pose for a photo in Lori’s living room.

The last time we joined Lori and her husband was when Abby and I drove there in 2010.

Lori, Nicole and Tracey take their turn in front of my camera.
Lori, Nicole and Tracey take their turn in front of my camera.

I made the six-hour drive on Wednesday before the holiday, with my Chihuahua, Summer, in the back seat.

Summer was nervous and sat in my lap early in the trip, but settled into the back seat for most of the drive to and from the Kansas City area.
Summer was nervous and sat in my lap early in the trip, but settled into the back seat for most of the drive to and from the Kansas City area.

I asked Bill, an avid hunter and gun enthusiast, if he owned an AR-15, and he did, so we took it down to his range and did some target practice, which was very fun.

Tracey and Bill's brother Kyle reload a magazine for Bill's AR-15. The weapon is chambered in .224 Valkyrie.
Tracey and Bill’s brother Kyle reload a magazine for Bill’s AR-15. The weapon is chambered in .224 Valkyrie.

At my urging, Lori brought out a box containing her father Wes’ Canon FTb, a popular single-lens-reflex (SLR) camera from the 1970s. I have a very clear memory of seeing Wes about to photograph the Thanksgiving table at Grandma Barron’s house in Independence, Missouri when I was in junior high, and thinking it was the coolest thing I’d even seen. I asked him if I could look through the viewfinder, which he let me, and I was smitten with the idea of one day owning such a camera.

This is my Uncle Wes' Canon FTb camera from the early 1970s. Big, heavy, and solid, it was made at a time when cameras were meant to last a lifetime.
This is my Uncle Wes’ Canon FTb camera from the early 1970s. Big, heavy, and solid, it was made at a time when cameras were meant to last a lifetime.

I gave the camera a quick look, and it appeared to be in pristine condition, and everything still worked fine.

Your host holds his uncle's Canon FTb. Wes is still alive, and joined us for Thanksgiving dinner, but he hasn't made any photos with this camera in at least a decade.
Your host holds his uncle’s Canon FTb. Wes is still alive, and joined us for Thanksgiving dinner, but he hasn’t made any photos with this camera in at least a decade.

Lori seemed genuinely happy to be our host. She looked great and was so glad to see us. She cooked for us, and it was all delicious.

Between eating, conversation, and taking care of five dogs (Lori and Bill’s two Newfoundlands Sailor and Scarlet and their old retriever Riley, Tracy and Nicole’s Labrador retriever Dauphine, and Summer the Chihuahua), none of us every turned on a television, and only sparingly looked at our smartphones.

One rare occasion for using my smartphone was to show a photo of my wife Abby, Nicole and Lori in the same spot 12 years ago.
One rare occasion for using my smartphone was to show a photo of my wife Abby, Nicole and Lori in the same spot 12 years ago.
Lori and Nicole proudly pose in the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day.
Lori and Nicole proudly pose in the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day.
Uncle Wes and Tracey, Nicole's husband, sit for a few minutes with Summer, my Chihuahua. I was proud that this little dog got along with all the bigger dogs so well.
Uncle Wes and Tracey, Nicole’s husband, sit for a few minutes with Summer, my Chihuahua. I was proud that this little dog got along with all the bigger dogs so well.
Nicole and Tracey show off their retriever Dauphine's manners for Uncle Wes.
Nicole and Tracey show off their retriever Dauphine’s manners for Uncle Wes.

Lori seemed to have a great time being the gracious hostess, and put very amazing meals in front of us the whole time.

A steaming turkey sits on a cutting board.
A steaming turkey sits on a cutting board.
Bill places the turkey on the table.
Bill places the turkey on the table.
You either love Brussels sprouts or you don't. We all do, especially roasted like this.
You either love Brussels sprouts or you don’t. We all do, especially roasted like this.
Our uncle Wes is seated. Behind him are Kyle Wade and Bill Wade, our cousin Lori, my sister Nicole, and her husband Tracey.
Our uncle Wes is seated. Behind him are Kyle Wade and Bill Wade, our cousin Lori, my sister Nicole, and her husband Tracey.

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