Thankful for my aunts

willse by Elizabeth Willse

My mom is one of six sisters. Every Thanksgiving, my mother's family gathers at Aunt Ruthanne and Uncle Ron's house in Connecticut. The table stretches from the dining room into the living room, with a joyous crowd of parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and friends. "We don't say grace," my late Uncle Howie once quipped. "We do The Wave."

I can't imagine Thanksgiving without a kitchen crowded with aunts and uncles and noisy with laughter. Ruthanne making stuffing, basting turkey. Aunt Meg taking photographs and peeling turnips. Beth and Jo unveiling their mouth-watering pies they brought for dessert. Aunt Nancy pitching in wherever she's needed- stirring gravy, peeling potatoes. Thanksgiving pies, made by Aunt Beth and Aunt Jo

Thanksgiving pies, made by Aunt Beth and Aunt Jo

Wafting through the kitchen like the savory smells- laughter and conversation. Trading stories, catching up, interrupting each other, making each other laugh.

At the center are the six sisters, their love for one another, and for their partners and children. Three sisters, and three more, brought together when my grandfather remarried. The six of them “are a force of nature,” my father says, not entirely joking.
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