A Sunday Thanksgiving for the Manzke Family

Susan Manzke
The Manzke clan, gathering together in person for the first time for Thanksgiving since 2019, fills up Susan's home with much visiting and laughter.

Thanksgiving isn’t only celebrated on Thanksgiving Thursday. Sometimes it’s a week early or a few days late. Ours took place on Sunday, November 28th this year.

We’ve done Sundays before. The last one was in November 2019. Bob was with us for that meal. For the first time ever, Thanksgiving 2020 took place via ZOOM. It was the only way to meet face to face.

This year, we ventured out for our usual Sunday here on the farm—without Bob for the first time.

Cooking for our get-together started early.

Everyone came to the farm. Everyone brought food to share. I volunteered to do the turkey and dressing.

To make things easier on me, I started making my big batch of dressing on Friday. For a time, I thought I would come up short. Usually, my family likes to take leftover dressing home. Would I have enough? I wondered.

While Susan prepared only a 14-pound turkey, there was plenty to go around for her family.

It turned out that I had nothing to worry about. I ended up making enough for an army, and that included seconds and leftovers for the army, too.

The turkey wasn’t huge. I only bought a fourteen-pounder.  That went into a baking bag and then into my oven on Saturday. Meanwhile, I prepared to make a loaf of bread. In the end, I ended up making three loaves. One was eaten on Sunday. The other two went home with family leftovers.

Travel was pretty good for most of my family as they drove here on Sunday. Only one had trouble. Rachel’s family had been up at their cabin in northwestern Wisconsin. David and Eli were trying to bag a deer. Since early Saturday didn’t turn up any whitetails, the family took time to enjoy the snow.

Playing in that white stuff was fun until it came time to drive out on Sunday morning. Luckily they were able to manage the icy roads and join the rest of the family for lunch on the farm.

Leading off the line for the family buffet is from left, Caleb, Aryana, and Eli.

It’s been a long time when everyone was together inside the house. Boy, oh, boy, we’re a noisy group.

My young grandchildren played in the living room while a good portion of the family nibbled while talking in the dining room. A third group talked as we set up the turkey and fixings in the kitchen.

It was buffet-style. Food went onto the grandkids’ plates first. Their parents watched and advised which food they might like—every one of them left with at least one slice of grandma’s bread, well-buttered.

After we were full, Wyatt, almost eight years old, came and asked what we were going to do next. He thought gifts were going to be exchanged like at Christmas.

When things settled down, I asked my grandson Seth to replace a heating grate. I was afraid Barn-E my kitten could fall in the open hole. Seth had to get on his hands and knees to fix the problem. Now I don’t have to worry any longer.

Seated at the children’s table far side, Arianna, Harrison, and Aryana. In the foreground from left, Eli, Caleb, and Wyatt.

Before leaving, Rachel brought down some of my Christmas decorations. Now that Thanksgiving is over I can start thinking about our next big holiday.

Like Thanksgiving, our Christmas gathering will be moved to a different day. Right now we’re figuring January will work best.

When it comes down to it, holidays are special because our family gets together. It

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;;