|Bing Image (not my own)|
The year was 1987 and I was a brand new mother to a beautiful baby girl who was only about 3 weeks old. Thanksgiving was upon us and I was to have my first Thanksgiving holiday weekend with a family I had never met before.
Very early that morning my then soon-to -be husband and I took our lovely daughter and jammed into a car full of new in- laws and traveled what seemed like eternity to Nashville, Tennessee. Our destination was Uncle Ronnie’s house. He literally lived out in God’s country, Nashville.
We arrived about mid-day to all sorts of uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents. It was not just any ole’ Thanksgiving. No, it was a family reunion! I thought my family was big, but this was plain ridiculous! See, Uncle Ronnie was only one of six children and most of those children had children. However, my daughter was a first Great-Granddaughter and her arrival was special.
The first person I met was Grandma A. who quickly took my baby from me and proceeded to pass her around like a football. Grandma A. is a sweet, loveable lady with a very loud voice. So, when I first met her, she scared me. Also, being a new mother and unsure of things, I was not too keen on these people handling my child.
Uncle Ronnie was all too happy to have everyone there for this was the first time that he hosted a Thanksgiving dinner at his place or for that matter ever. He made sure I was quite comfortable. The fact was Uncle Ronnie’s house was very small, actually too small to hold so many people. It had only two small bedrooms in it and was out in the woods. The kitchen was big enough for about five people but certainly not the size of this family. Since I was new mom and new family member, I got the only bedroom available for anyone.
Now this normally would pose a huge problem for most people but not Uncle Ronnie. See, Uncle Ronnie worked for some well-known people in Nashville and knew some very well known people.
The fact was Uncle Ronnie drove the personal bus for Randy Travis when he was touring across country. Now as much as that impressed me, what impressed me more was he had also driven for years for Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton and the Judds. What Uncle Ronnie did was even more fantastic. To solve the sleeping room problem, Uncle Ronnie simply called up Kenny Rogers and told him about his hosting of the family Thanksgiving and that he needed some sleeping quarters for the weekend. Kenny Rogers actually lent his personal touring bus to Uncle Ronnie for the family and went one further and gave the family tickets to the Grand Ole Opry.
I simply could not believe I was looking at this bus. Stepping on to this bus was like a movie set in itself. It slept 10 people comfortably. It was all in gold and royal blue but the most awesome thing about it was the round table in the middle of the bus. The table was solid gold. In the middle of it was two gold pistols used in Kenny Roger’s “Gambler” movie, along with in-laid gold coins. The table was topped in glass. It was something beautiful to behold. To say the least, all of us were just awe struck.
With this entire fancy-ness going around, Uncle Ronnie announced that we would be eating on the good china. I could only imagine what this looked like considering what I had just seen with that bus.
Uncle Ronnie opened a drawer and pulled out…mismatched colored forks and mismatched plates. We all got a mug or glass of some sort to drink from. Uncle Ronnie roared with laughter at what he had pulled on us and of course we laughed too. I had never seen so much food and the variety of food, which included something I had never eaten, shrimp.
Of course being a family there was drama at times of which I got caught up in but for the most part it was an interesting and fun-filled weekend, which I will never, ever forget.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
By MR...aka Naila Moon
Originally written Nov. 26, 2008
Originally written Nov. 26, 2008
Rewritten Nov. 18, 2010