The perfect pastoral Thanksgiving starts with pigskin

With a nod to the ancestors who inspired this holiday, we spent Thanksgiving in a cabin this year.
Should you ever be so inclined, we’re including these tips. Tuck them into the blaze orange jacket you’ll require and keep them handy for next year.
1) Print off all of your recipes because there is no Internet at the cabin and you only cook some of this food once a year. If you’re like me, you’ll then leave the printed copies on your kitchen counter at home and have to wing the entire meal.
2) Mentally prepare yourself for the pre-Thanksgiving Hearts game, a sweet family tradition passed down from your in-laws. Then, when you have the option to lay the Queen of Spades on your youngest daughter effectively ending the game and making you champion, buck up and do it. You’ll be heckled from all corners for this choice but hold your head high (and then gratefully lay it on your pillow. Tomorrow starts early.)
3) Understand what the holiday is all about — football.
All food prep should be complete, desserts baked, turkey in the oven and stuffing in the crock pot by 11:30, which just happens to be kick-off. If you turn on TV just a few minutes late you will miss the muffing of the national anthem, which will be good news for your appetite.
Relax and enjoy the first half of the Packer game. Then, you have exactly 15 minutes to execute the first half of the family touch football game. This timing is precise and there is no room for error. Just for the record, it is not wrong for you to fire the first pass to your oldest daughter’s boyfriend. This is the proper way to vet the suitors.
Return to the cabin to watch your Packers beat Detroit to go 11-0 on the season. Take your turkey out of the oven, shove the biscuits in and then hustle back out to the field for the second half of the family football game.
4) Enjoy your meal and be very grateful that all of your children have made it home to celebrate with you…and that you just trounced three of them on the football field.

What you see here is the winning team.
Molly’s got her game face on. She scored the go-ahead touchdown.
Note: Katherine’s boyfriend Santiago caught the pass, in traffic, to
launch to opening drive. He can stay.
They’re cute but they lost. Katherine has the
best game face though.
And, oh yeah, there was a meal too.
We weren’t kidding about the blaze orange.
Here we are on a post-meal walk through the

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