I don’t have a pithy quote to share with you all on this Thanksgiving Eve. I’m not Voltaire or Oscar Wilde.

I just have my simple Thanksgiving remembrances I bring into the light each Thanksgiving. Some are wonderful. Some painful. All have shaped my Thanksgiving experiences past and will shape those yet to be – my own, and other’s I hope.

In no particular order…

Smelling turkey cooking at breakfast time. Why did my mother’s turkey seem to take 10 hours to cook and ours only 4 today? It probably was my child’s mind stretching time because I was so anxious to eat that wonderful turkey.

The steam from all the pots on the stove. So many pots. So much food. We did not want at Thanksgiving even though other times during the year my mom used oatmeal to extend hamburger to feed all 6 kids. (Protip: don’t do that.) We always had way too much food at Thanksgiving.

Mr. Roy Brown – one of my father’s work colleagues. Mr. Brown didn’t have a place to go on Thanksgiving, so my father invited him into our house. He was different, odd, interesting and worth every minute we had the pleasure to be with him. My father knew quality humans. He was one.

Meat stuffing. According to my father a French version of bread stuffing made with hamburger, potatoes, onions, cloves, cinnamon and a few other interesting spices. It is delicious for some – off-putting for others. A staple for me although now we only make only a small bowl just for me, as the rest of my family hasn’t seen the light on this delicacy as yet.

Being crowded. Hard not to be with 6 kids. We had two tables without the guests! But always crowded.

Pies. My dad loved pies. My mom made pies. A match made in heaven. Chocolate meringue, lemon meringue, pumpkin. Not a lot of pecan pie at our house growing up. Once in a while, a strawberry rhubarb. Ah… pies.

Turkey sandwiches and “turkey hot shots”. I’d have the sandwich. My dad would put the cold turkey on a piece of bread and pour massive amounts of steaming hot turkey gravy over the top. True “diner” food. A trucker would have loved our house the few days after Thanksgiving.

My father’s death in 2008. The week of Thanksgiving – the Tuesday before to be exact, he died. It was sad. Still is.

Using a never used ping-pong table as our dining room table the year my mom and sisters visited us in South Carolina for Thanksgiving after my father died. (Protip: Awesome – plenty of room for people and wide enough to put ALL the food on out within reach of someone!)

This year we are down to three at dinner instead of four as one of the “kids” is hitting Vegas with a lady friend. Our Thanksgiving wanes as theirs waxes.

The circle of life. The trajectory followed by all traditions.

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you pull out your memories this Thursday, hold them gently, polish them a bit (not too much – the tarnish is part of the story), share them and let them mix with the new ones being made.

Allow your history to create someone else’s future.

Share the warmth.


PS: Because the image on the site won’t show in the email subscription version – here’s our family at my Mom and Dad’s 50th Anniversary get together.

The 8 of us at Mom & Dad 50th Anniverary

PPS: NAW means not about work. Go home!!!!