Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

The Williamsons Prepare to Feast. A Thanksgiving Day Photo Bonanza. Trip to the Black Hills June 1996. Christmas Eve Family Party 2001.

Thanksgiving at the Mattson Home in Spearfish 1957. The Williamson's first Thanksgiving. Kim
is down for a nap and I'm enjoying the meal from the inside if you catch my meaning.
Grandma Elda, Luella, Charles sit on the far side of the table

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Happy Thanksgiving!

     It's 9:47 A.M. here at the Fortress. Janice is getting ready to go with Jilane to prep Ashley and Mike's home for the Family Thanksgiving Extravaganza Eat Until You Drop Buffet.  Jilane has been out running, thinking an hour on the trail will allow for that extra piece of pumpkin pie.  I'm at my desk scanning photos for today's photo dump into the blog.  I don't have many unencumbered days, so I take advantage when the opportunity presents itself. 

Luella feeling a bit tipsy with her Coke Zero with that special something added to help her through the day.
Thanksgiving 2011
     Prepping for a Williamson family All You Can Eat involves several rolls of plastic wrap. Think Dexter. The floor, walls, and ceiling must be covered; If not, repainting is the only known way to completely eliminate evidence of the clan gathering. 
     To help steady nerves, a special room is reserved for decompressing, especially needed today.  Both the right and left wing of the family will be under the same roof; not to mention the High Mormons, Middle Way Mormons, and those who avoid the topic all together.

Enoch upset in Time Out for fingering every pie on the dessert table
Enoch pouted while his naughtier cousins found other ways to protest their confinement in Time Out. 


     At such gatherings it is important we remind ourselves that we are a loving family that respects and cherishes diversity because diverse is what this family is, like so many others in our modern world.  I also take a moment to remind the political active that NO political discussions are allowed around Great Grandma Luella. Failure to comply will result in banishment from the dessert table."  Because of the recent passage of the marijuana proposition, I was thinking of putting up a sign banning discussions of medical marijuana but decided against it after a few discussions with the family elders. It seems the Williamson's aren't as divided on the subject as I thought.

Luella about to tuck in and clean that Thanksgiving plate in record speed.
Kim was asked to eat by herself after having pretty much offended everyone.
Thanksgiving 2011
     This year's Decompression Room will be the Costa's rarely used living room just off the family room. Diffusers will scent the room in a special DoTerra blend of fragrances tailored for family events like today's; think a green pasture surrounded by Ponderosa Pines with just a wisp of sunshine lingering in the air to help you ease quickly into your happy place.  Candles will decorate the room in dancing light. Music will tug at the ear with celestial melodies selected from tracks recorded by the Sisters of the Abbey of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. 
     We didn't have a Decompression Room last year.  It made for a tough afternoon, leaving only the bathrooms or the cars as places of refuge. 
Sometimes only a good wash with the garden hose will clean one of the little ones.
We focused on table manners and etiquette this year with the little ones.

     This year we're taking a risk and letting the family choose where they sit to eat.  Normally we separate based on several factors. Conspiracy theorists, High Mormons, and those with an open mind usually make for good table fellows.  Democrats, Middle of the Way Mormons and the unaffiliated are good together.  The little ones have their own table but tend to ignore the plates their mother's prepared. They find their way to the dessert table once the adults have their noses squarely in the trough.

JD is stationed in the kitchen during Thanksgiving ensuring only the finest dishes brought to the gathering are
sent out for consumption.  Those dishes that fail the JD test find their way to the disposal when no one is looking.
Enoch, Jace, and Foxton, happy after four trips to the dessert table. Enoch looks like he's about to lose it.

     Today's choose where you want to sit approach will test the family's civility.  The standard used to judge whether the seating decision was a wise one or not will be based upon who is not speaking to Whom at the end of the day. I'm looking forward to today's circus.
     And now, the photo dump.


A Few Pictures from Our Short Trip to the Black Hills.  June 1996

     Luella Williamson is always excited to see the Black Hills.  I caught her in a reminiscence with this candid photo.   

     Stopping to pay our respects to the first home I remember is a must on any trip to Rapid City.
     We lived here at 39 East Signal Drive until we moved just before my 8th birthday in 1966.  The place is a bit of an eye sore today but just seeing it brings back many happy memories. 

     Our tour of the Williamson family homesteads always involves a driveby of our home at 210 N. 42nd Street.  We lived here from 1966 to 1968.  

     Uncle Marv ran this Jerky stand outside of Hill City back in the day. 

     Uncle Marv, Cindy, Luke and Haley.  

     Luella with Haley and Luke at Mt. Rushmore.  Who is that peering over the wall?  It couldn't be Charles in a playful mood.  

Kim DelGrosso. Don't know how this got into this mix of photos, but we'll enjoy it nevertheless.  June 2000

Celebrating My Birthday at Jilane's Home.  June 1998

     A little bit of this and a little bit of that is what you get when you do a photo dump.  Forest DelGrosso and Lisa Williamson Coronato in Jilane's kitchen. Lisa is pregnant with Adia.  She's going to hate me for posting these two photos but such is the burden one carries when recording family history.    

The Williamsons Gather for Christmas Eve Festivities.  December 24, 2001

Christmas Eve 2001


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