It’s the time of year when fall ends and the Christmas season begins (although in retail stores, it began in October!). Sweater weather is here. In the Midwest, it’s been around for a couple months. In Los Angeles, it has just begun. Too bad I brought only one sweater with me. I’m currently in LA visiting, and I’m certain the weather will warm up soon. This is when I put an optimistic smile on my face.
Over the years, I’ve had many memorable Thanksgiving Days. In my youth, we headed over the river and through the woods…Oops! Wrong story! We drove past open fields covered in snow with their crops harvested for another year. We would arrive at my grandparents’ home. It was a white cottage down the road from a country church where my mom taught Sunday school before meeting my father.
Anytime we went to Gram’s house was a special occasion. Whether it was a Sunday dinner or a holiday feast, she would have put together a meal suitable for a crowd of hungry farmers after working in the fields all day. Instead, she had a handful of little rugrats and their parents to feed.
Holiday dinners would always have two different types of meat, typically a large turkey and a ham. Multiple side dishes strained the table with their combined weight. Mountains of mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, corn, baked rolls, cranberry sauce, jello salad and a number of other treats were prepared with great care for her family. I give thanks for Gram’s love.
After the meal, the adults would sit around with full stomachs and converse on the topics of the day — news, local gossip, the weather, and sports. You would know they were ready for dessert when they began talking about food again. I give thanks for my extended families — aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.
In later years, our celebrations were smaller when the preparations became too much for Gram. We would stick with our nuclear families and visit Gram in her little apartment. When we lived overseas, we would invite other Navy families and single sailors to our Thanksgiving Day dinners. I give thanks for being privileged to have served my country.
On this Thanksgiving, my active duty son will be gone serving his country. I am 2000 miles from my husband and eldest son. I’m spending this Thanksgiving with my new daughter-in-law. I give thanks for my lovely family and their health and safety.
New traditions will begin as our family grows and changes in the years to come. This is why I give thanks.