Thanksgiving… what can you say about Thanksgivings? The memories of old when you were a child with your family, the memories of you with your children and your family, the memories when the children grow up and leave.
Thanksgiving memories as a youth—- the night before and the morning of was such a flurry of activity. The smells in the house were awesome! Sometimes family would arrive the night before and how thankful we were that they made it in, what with the snow storm. There is hardly a snow storm on Thanksgiving now as the weather has changed and continues to do so. There was snow by early November and it actually stayed on the ground until the January thaw. It was such fun to play in the snow on Thanksgiving with all of the relatives.
Everything was homemade, of course. Mom made several types of home made pies, chocolate, pecan, raisin cream, coconut cream, mincemeat and of course, pumpkin! She was noted as the best baker, ever! Everyone loved her pies. There were homemade noodles (my favorite), turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, several types of dressing: sage, oyster and chestnut, cranberry salad, homemade rolls, gosh, I cannot even remember all of the food. One of my favorite memories every Thanksgiving was tearing several loaves of bread into pieces for the different dressings. When we woke up, the television was always on with the Thanksgiving parade on, which I remember as being much better back then. We would tear the bread while watching the parade. It was always so exciting to see Santa at the end! That set the mood for decorating for Christmas that night. The family was huge! Great, great times. Those memories will probably be brought up later as they come to mind in my other posts.
Thanksgiving memories as a mother…. Our children were too young to remember my mother’s Thanksgivings which is a shame. My father passed away before our children were even born. My mother passed away when our youngest girl was 4 months old. By the time our children were in their early teens, I lost my sister and two brothers, so my family is greatly diminished. Most of my nieces and nephews are not even in the state, so it is rare to see them on a holiday. One of my brothers still lived in town until he passed away and his wife and children usually stop by every Thanksgiving night and play games and visit, etc. We enjoy those times together. The Thanksgivings on my husband’s side were held at his grandmother’s She had a large two story farm house and there were so, so many people there. The children had other children to play with and they probably have memories like I do of my childhood Thanksgivings but I do not know for sure their memories and feelings. There was lots of family, though, and that is what I think is the most important.
Our children have moved out and the Thanksgivings are not what they use to be. So many of the family have passed away, some have split up with their boyfriends or girlfriends and some have divorced. We miss each and every one of them and still love them all! We are still thankful to be together but we all miss the gathering of a large amount of family. We do stray from tradition, though. None of us much care for the standard turkey and I have a gluten issue, so we eat differently but it is all still good, good food, at least in our opinion. This year our appetizers were chips and salsa and chips and hummus. We had Apple crisp, cherry crisp, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, scalloped corn, chili, lasagna, ham, beef and rice, green beans, red hot jello, corn bread muffins, deviled eggs, and more. It sounds like a weird combination, but this way everyone has something they like.
Nothing can be done about the ones who are no longer with us and the ones who live far away are probably feeling the same about the losses and longing for older times, but we do not linger on those thoughts. All of us are thankful for the family we do have. We create our new memories and carry on and have a wonderful time. We try to make each one special and memorable.
Something you notice about life, it truthfully repeats itself as does history. Your thanksgivings are huge and then people die off and break up and they dwindle, then new family is added by marriage, dating, birth of children and they again are huge. People die off and they dwindle again, then they grow again. I hope that this is a little bit encouraging to you who are missing the larger old time thanksgivings. There will be larger and new ones again. Make the most of your times together and have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Do not dwindle on the past, remember it with a smile, share some of your memories with laughter at dinner or after dinner and have a good, good time. Do not miss out on your blessings that you have right in front of you.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!