Having the world's best next door neighbors is something for which TBG and I are profoundly grateful. We admit our foibles, laugh at our failings, and find comfort in the knowledge that we're all falling apart at about the same rate.
Being there for one another is, of course, quite wonderful. But it's the shared amusement that acts as the glue holding us together.
Joining them for Thanksgiving dinner, some of us reveled in the lack of acrimony, in the ease and grace with which this family flows through the world. Where was the whining... the head shaking... the muttered imprecations and the slammed doors
Our natal families bore no resemblance to this; we agreed that this is much better.
We watched sons and grandsons discussing George R R Martin and Jessica Jones, smiling as 20's and 30's and 40's blended together, seamlessly. The college freshman's boyfriend was a willing helper among strangers, insisting that JannyLou must have something that needed doing. I peeled turkey necks and chopped liver for giblet gravy because it was easier for me than for her. Everyone seemed to be responsible for the dogs.
The instructional emails in the preceding weeks were a big help. JannyLou had given each of us tasks and timelines, so bagels were procured and gluten/dairy/egg free dessert recipes were tested in a timely fashion. Everyone was just-a-little-bit dressed up for this extended family and friends event, and everyone had some skin in the game.
There was a lot of justifiable pride floating around the kitchen.