Remembering Thanksgiving

fall leaves and Happy Thanksgiving textMy favorite Thanksgivings took place long ago when I was a kid. There were no microwave ovens to quickly heat the cooling food, but I remember it always tasted great. All the Aunts and my grandmother pitched in to help get everything ready and my sister and I (if it was at our house) had to set the table. I couldn’t wait for everyone to arrive – it was exciting!

We had turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, boiled onions and carrots, cranberry sauce and homemade pies made by my mother, Nana and Aunts. My Nana used to make “Monkey Faces” which were little mincemeat cookies and also mincemeat pie. It was the only thing I wasn’t crazy about. What the heck is mincemeat anyway??

The meals I remember best were when we ate in our big living room with a couple of tables put together, or at my Grandmother’s house. She lived at the bottom of my driveway and her house was small, but some years we’d all cram in there and it was great. My cousins and my sister would share the kids table and we usually ended up laughing at something and couldn’t stop. Then we’d get in trouble, and that would make us laugh more.

After I grew up I really didn’t like Thanksgiving. It was a family time and I didn’t have much family.  My parents had split up and I had moved south to live in Florida.   My husband had a big family but they lived up here in the north. Thanksgiving became a day of work for me.  In fact, for a few years I worked in the Flower Shop of a local grocery store and I did have to go to work for the morning on Thanksgiving Day.  Then I’d stand in the kitchen for hours cooking the whole, huge meal by myself, and then spend more hours cleaning up. Before my mother got Alzheimers, she’d come over and bring Pecan pie – my favorite. Unfortunately she also brought her bum of a husband which totally ruined the day.

Then one year my husband and I and our kids took our pontoon boat out on the Intracoastal for Thanksgiving Day.   My mother’s idiot husband had stuck her in a nursing home by then, so we really had no family.   Going out on the boat was a good decision and it was such a good day. I hadn’t enjoyed that holiday so much in a long time. I cooked the turkey days before and packed turkey sandwiches for the boat. It was a peaceful day of family togetherness, cruising around and fishing, and I wondered why the holiday couldn’t always be so good.

Happy Thanksgiving to my faithful readers, and to all the ones who stumbled across this post.  May your Thanksgiving Day be yummy and peaceful.

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