Worth repeating: Thanksgiving memories

15 thoughts on “Worth repeating: Thanksgiving memories”

  1. Here in Joplin MO the Wheelers are having the traditional turkey dinner with a wide variety of accompaniments. (Why is it that everyone has a different favorite vegetable?) We are fortunate to have all three sons and their families here this time, including grandkids ranging from 4 to 14. The emphasis is on chaos and less than for most, I gather, on making stuff from scratch. The preparation is long and the eating is over in about half an hour, but it’s the socializing that makes the holiday. No one will be left hungry, that’s guaranteed. Mr. Turkey weighs 20 lbs.

    One of my goals is to fill in some gaps in the family genealogy on the sides of our sons’ wives. In this mix I usually find some little memoir from the kids to put in – the memories of children are different from those of parents in interesting ways. For example, our oldest just told me of how my uncle used to let him drive the tractor out in the field by himself when he was 7 or 8. I never knew that and would have worried about him falling off and being crushed!

    I thought of you, PT, on hearing of the recent snowfalls in Colorado and am glad to hear you are clicking along OK. Happy Thanksgiving! I enjoyed your nice memoir.


    1. Your Thanksgiving sounds like the kind we had for many, many years. Parents, 5 siblings, their spouses, and their kids. Huge gathering complete with “kids’ table” of necessity. Often had to be seated in several different rooms to accommodate everyone. Those are the years I remember when I think of classic Thanksgivings. Sounds like yours will be one of those.

      We have very light snow falling at the moment. Not quite the golden sunny day I like to have for Thanksgiving, but not bad enough yet to mess up anyone’s plans.

      Hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  2. As I was reading your great memories of Thanksgivings past, I had a flashback of the Thanksgiving when my father was given an electric knife to carve the turkey. It just wasn’t the same! I remember the ads on TV! Also, I remember the first year my mother-in-law dared to have Lasagna! OMG! An Irish family having an Italian dish on Thanksgiving!!

    1. Lasagna!? Heresy! But the electric carving knife. What a boon that was and is to those who would otherwise struggle mightily to produce nice slices of turkey. (My dad did a great job before electric knives came along.) Not that I ever cared how the bird was carved, as long as the meat got to my plate … along with plenty of gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, etc.

  3. Well, unlike Jim and his 20 lb turkey, yesterday I was staring down another Thanksgiving Cornish game hen. No carving necessary on them little critters. But… it was good and I did enjoy it.

    Our family never was really a part of that Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving family scene. Of course after turning twenty, the military and my chosen career field pretty much insured that I would never be home for Thanksgiving and for the most part spent most Thanksgivings and Christmas’ alone. You get more and more use to it as the years pass by.

    When I was growing up our Thanksgiving dinner included my immediate family and that was it. I actually really enjoyed the intimacy of a small gathering of just mom, dad and your siblings. My sister fixes a big Thanksgiving dinner every year and all are welcome but even thought I’m home now its too much of a mad house for me. Television blaring with the football game, kids carrying on and 20 different conversations going in process among the adults. Just not my cup of tea. I imagine all those years alone contributed somewhat to that.

    Just me and my little Cornish game hen… life is good! 🙂

    1. Love Cornish game hens, but they just don’t taste like turkey. It’s been years since we’ve had one of those really big Thanksgiving gatherings, with family spread all over the world now. I enjoyed them back in the day but don’t miss them. We went to a restaurant this year, and the only thing I missed was having a few leftovers the next day — a bit of turkey, gravy, stuffing, and cranberry, and maybe some pecan pie.

  4. Our family now is small–just four or five are available for Thanksgiving. So we’ve replaced the huge birds that were traditional in both our parents’ homes with a ham. (One wag suggests we did that after viewing a cartoon of a turkey advertising “Eat Ham”) One tradition continues, however. Pumpkin pie is a must.

  5. I agree with you that sometimes these family gatherings can be a little tedious. Especially, as you point out, your family counts 20+ people. Being myself in my 50s, I prefer smaller parties. And to be completely honest, I no longer support little children running around the table and complaining about everything. I rather take them somewhere when they can enjoy themselves and play with other children, instead of being at the same table with old and boring people.

    1. We did have big gatherings, but parents were expected to police their own kids. And since sheer numbers required several tables in different rooms, the kids were assigned to a “kids’ table” in a room away from the main adult table. These days we each have our own immediate family and most of us either eat out or carry in.

  6. Sigh. What wonderful memories. Our family has shrunken to tiny – and we are all spread so widely now. Fun to think about all that fun – kids table and all.
    (And we ate out, too. Best choice ever- and no clean up for once. Enjoyable and relaxing for a change.)

    1. Yep, eating out gets my vote. Sure beats three days of prep and a day of clean up. My only complaint about our experience this year was that there was no cranberry sauce. A small point, maybe, but it’s high on my list of favorite Thanksgiving foods.

... and that's my two cents