November is always a busy month for me and Bill. There is always a long weekend trip to northern Ohio to visit with his family, a long weekend for Leaf Weekend with my family on the other side of northern Ohio and the annual Thanksgiving Potluck which is held at my condo with friends. Then of course there is Thanksgiving. That is 4 weekends and there are only 4 weekends in November to begin with… needless to say, I don’t ever make any plans for the month of November. I love all these trips.
Archbold, Ohio or Pettisville, Ohio. The Hulbert’s (Bill’s brother’s family) live in the middle of farm country USA. This is one of my favorite trips each year. Barely any cell phone reception and the nights are usually spent with a beer around the wood burning stove in the garage with great company. One of my favorite things about this trip is the 3 and a half hour drive (half of which is through farm country and little towns along the way). Bill and I talk about how awesome it would be to live somewhere with all that land. I keep thinking to myself how long would it take me to get to Starbucks? Bill keeps thinking how awesome it would be to have a gun range on his property. The Hulberts live on one of the straightest stretches of train track in North America. Trains fly through there all hours of the day (something you get used to). It’s actually rather fascinating. The types of things moved by train will amaze you when you see it zooming through your backyard at 3am going 40 to 50 miles an hour. Not just the spray painted art work on the side of cars that have recently been sitting long enough for a hoodlem and a spray can to tag their territory which is now being transported to the other side of the country, but the John Deere tractors so shiny and new that we stand and salute. The Hulberts always welcome the whole Mueller family (plus girlfriends) to their house and it’s always a blast. I can’t stop laughing when I’m around all of them!
Leaf weekend with the Casebere family on the other side of northern Ohio, Akron to be exact, is so completely different yet wonderful all the same. The Casebere family has a huge front yard full of wonderfully tall trees that have beautiful leaves that must come down each year… We load up all of our STIHL blowers and the Jones’ family, if video taped, would make the best commercial for STIHL ever! last year I think we had 4 blowers out there running all at once. It is such a feeling of accomplishment when we’re finished, yet I’m still happy I have rocks for landscaping at my condo and no trees… The Zesty Cook (that would be my sister) always plans out amazing meals and I look forward to the food as much as I do the playing with the kids! The major difference between the Casebere’s and the Hulberts??? The Casebere house is a 5 minute walk to Starbucks.
The annual Thanksgiving Potluck… that started in my friends apartment 10 years ago. Eventually we outgrew her place and moved the location to my spacious condo. This year we had more than 20 people sitting around the 3 tables (the wonderful one Bill made for me and the 2 borrowed from my parents). Jessica makes the life changing turkey I make pumpkin pies (because that’s all I’m good at right now) and the friends bring the rest. We always have a great time and we feel like a family ourselves.
Then there is actual Thanksgiving. Such a great holiday! The one thing I miss about the Thanksgiving as a kid… visiting Uncle Don and Aunt Carol and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade while they get ready to host the Jones family. My dad and I would get out of Mom’s hair for a few hours while she prepared to host the Fassnachts. Now a days the Fassnachts have outgrown the usual Thanksgiving celebration and we now celebrate in a much smaller group at Skyline the day after. What will happen when we outgrow the Jones’? It might be a small feast but still wonderful all the same.
That’s a full month. So if you’re ever looking for me during the month of November you’ll find me with family or friends somewhere in Ohio! (You just wait until December!)