Pumpkin and Puglrims (No, That’s Not a Typo) and (Grand)Parents, Oh My; An East Side Adventure

Note to the Reader: I’ve begun to realize my titles are reflective of my growing respect for Fall Out Boy. 

Thanksgiving-the one day of the year our American gluttony is cherished and celebrated. I could continue and go on about the detrimental effects of the pilgrims on the Native Americans, but I’d rather take a Martha-Stewart-esque take on the holiday and recall my East Side adventure as it has unfolded thus far.

My mother’s side of the family receives all the love during the year-end holidays, due to the migration of my father’s side to Florida, following the flight patterns of geese and other migratory feathered friends. This being the case, we either find ourselves traversing to the outskirts of Detroit, Royal Oak, to coagulate at the aunt and uncle’s abode, or we find ourselves traversing to Bay City, to coagulate at the grandparents’.

The past two years, we’ve discovered ourselves on the East Side of the state, pushing tables together to fit my brother and my twin cousins at the children’s table, and organizing many a chair around the dinner table to fit both grandparents, parents, aunt, uncle, and prospective photojournalist alike.

Currently, I have placed myself in my aunt’s living room, my grandparents just having arrived, upon her sectional couch, listening to my mother speak to her own parents about life, tea, and agreeing with them about how I need to use smaller words in my blog posts. My uncle is debating with with my grandfather about whether a specific hand-me-down is a sweater or a vest, and my aunt, in her pink-and-blue polka-dot apron, has just successfully blasted our ears off with music from the seventies out of their bluetooth speaker. It has thankfully been adjusted to a more presentable volume.

Before all this hullaballoo congregated, one of my 13-year-old cousins put on her big-girl gloves and began to whip up a dessert for us, and the grandparents arrived, we spent the day at ‘DE ZOO’:


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My immediate family hadn’t experienced the Detroit Zoo in approximately ten years, and neither my brother or I remembered the experience-much to my mother’s disappointment. Therefore, we adventured as thoroughly as we possibly could within the hour and twenty-three minutes we had to burn before the zoo closed for the day. Moral of the story kids: research the closing time of the attraction you are attempting to visit.

Despite our crunch for time and the lack of polar bears in the polar bear exhibit, our escapade was not for naught.

The most popular furry creature within our party was the red panda by a large margin. Watching it prance around its enclosure was like watching an overweight feline/lemur mix thump around wherever an overweight feline/lemur mix may, if they existed. I had an overwhelming desire to watch Blackfish when I returned to our familial hotel, but I managed to neutralize my guilt for these captured animals by logically convincing myself I had nothing to do with the culture that surrounds that kind of institution. With this in mind, that neutralization has become nearly overwhelming guilt, and I’ve made it a priority to watch the documentary before the year is over.

Forwarding our experience to yesterday eve, I was enlisted in the cranberry sauce corps., which, other than yours truly, involved my cousin who has an uncanny resemblance to a young Kendall Jenner, save for her extraordinarily blonde locks. This is completely irrelevant information, but I have the irrational need to be the first one to state this before she gets picked up by a modeling agency and walks for St. Laurent. I digress.

Cranberry sauce is the light of my life when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner. That, and stuffing, and mashed potatoes, etc. etc. etc. but I don’t possess the recipes or motivation to possess the recipes for said produce. Ergo, my aunt’s four-ingredient cranberry sauce must-and trust me, will-suffice.


CranBe(a)rry Sauce:


  • 2 large oranges
  • 24 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 1-1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 packaged dried cherries



Cut oranges in half and juice them. 3/4 cup of juice is ideal. From the oranges, strip 8 large peels. In a medium saucepan, combine the juice, peels, cranberries, and brown sugar. Cook on medium heat for 12-14 minutes, or until most cranberries burst, stirring occasionally. Stir in dried cherries and cool completely.


Included in the lovely antics of the loud, eccentric family I am proud to call my own, are body parts immortalized by art pieces-


Not pictured: a cast of my aunt’s face, doubled within one art piece, a mannequin with no head or arms, and a cast of her stomach when she was pregnant with my cousins. She assures me that she is, “not a serial killer.” 

-throwback albums on both 33 and 45’s-

-and the infamous ‘Puglrim’:


Well, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” has my aunt getting turnt, and my grandparents are insisting on teaching us minors how to dance to Sinatra, so I’m going to go enjoy the family that turned me into the theatrical human being I am.

Whether you’re spending Thanksgiving with family yourself or are alone on this holiday, know I’m thankful for you and that many others are as well. Enjoy today!

Much love,

Quinn ❤

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