I love fall! It’s my favorite season! In that season is nestled my favorite holiday… Thanksgiving! I love Thanksgiving because it involves family and friends, yummy food, all the beautiful rich-colored fall decorations, and it in a way, forces us all to stop and really reflect on what we are thankful for. While I need to be thankful every day (and do try), this time of year brings it all to the forefront.
My sister and I were talking this morning about needing a extra large table on which you could set all of the food and the people at one time. Platters and bowls circle around the table and the food and fellowship is shared with no one needing to get up from the feast. Does anyone have a table that large anymore?
I have some wonderful memories of Thanksgivings gone by. One that really stands out is my brother Jeff and his green beans. I looked down my side of what seemed like our very large dining room table, only to see Jeff with two green beans sticking out of his nose! I about fell off my chair with laughter, and my parents… well, their reaction was not quite like mine! It was a classic moment that will live forever in my memories!
Our table was always fabulous! Out came the china, silver, crystal and cloth napkins! We were being “green” and did not even know it! Not only did my mom cook up an amazing meal (except for the Giblet Gravy), she also set a beautiful table. The table was topped off with intricate place holders for each person attending; created by my talented sister, Megan! I remember pilgrim hats – “pilgrim boy hats” for the boys and “pilgrim girl hats” for the girls! My other favorite was the beautiful turkeys with little colored feathers! She must have cut out 500 tiny turkey feathers of all colors, and glued them to these turkeys that sat at the head of our plates to mark our spot. I’ve tried to do something similar over the years, but will never live up to her fabulous work! Thanks, Megan!
I loved the dark meat and the skin! Grandma made killer sweet potatoes every year! I was not a fan of stuffing or cranberry sauce, but have grown to love them in my wiser years! I Didn’t care for olives then either… which was a good thing because my sister, Kate, was the queen of disappearing olives! I think I remember ten olives on someone’s fingers…. oh, another proud “green bean” moment for my parents! The fruit salad that my mom always made just got in the way of all of the gravy and potatoes, but was mandatory. Who on earth thinks about eating healthy on Thanksgiving? Pumpkin pie was the bomb – especially loaded up with fresh whipped cream! But the crowning glory was the butter! Yes, I said it… real butter! Not the fake stuff! Three times a year the real stuff came out and this was one occasion! Oh, the sweet memory of real butter dripping out of my white dinner roll! Yikes, I feel my chest tightening as I type!
My last Thanksgiving memory worth sharing is one that my dear sister Mary brings up every year! My first Thanksgiving meal that I ever prepared was in my third year of marriage to my first husband. I set a beautiful table… well, I tired anyway! We had cloth napkins and a pretty table cloth! I washed, buttered, seasoned, stuffed and tied up my first turkey ever! In the oven it went… timer set…. glass of wine poured. Life was good! I took a moment to call Mary to wish her well and she began asking about my turkey! I shared all that I did and how I was now just waiting for the glorious bird to cook! It was going to be a fabulous first Thanksgiving! She then proceeded to ask about the little plastic bag of innards. “What little plastic bag of innards?” I replied! I frantically hung up, set the wine aside; untied and unstuffed my bird, only to find a little bag of nasty stuff way in the back. Out it came and I prepared my bird a second time! Whew! Crisis averted! Thanks, Mary!
Memories are sweet, but they can become a bit more faint as the years pass. When life seems more difficult than usual, memories can bring to mind what was good and right. Sometimes that is just what we need to take our mind off of the hard stuff in the here and now, and bring some joy from the past to make us smile. I look forward to making more Thanksgiving memories in the years to come. While I need to be thankful every day, it’s nice to have that special day each year to bring everyone to a quiet place of thankfulness and to remember.
Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!