A Time to Treasure Family and Memories – Happy Thanksgiving!

As I write this, it is now officially Thanksgiving day here in the United States – just past midnight. This Thanksgiving Eve, my 12 yo daughter and I brought a freezer meal to a new mom, had a snack  together, and did the remaining of our Thanksgiving grocery shopping. 

It was a time for her and I, a time to experience the work that she will one day do on her own, but more importantly just a time to hang out and be together.

Later, as all the kids helped unload the groceries, they exclaimed over the items, excited about the cooking that would follow.  A few days ago, they had spent a lunch time meal voting on what they wanted for dinner – each claiming their favorites.

Thanksgiving is different for them than it was for me, as I grew up with a large extended family. When I was a child, my maternal grandmother married my paternal grandfather a few years after they both were widowed, so we only had one “grandparent” house to go to. And all my aunts and uncles from both sides of the family would gather; everyone bringing a dish or two. My grandfather roasting the turkey. 

The kitchen and house would be alive with people, and cooking, and conversation. The center, the hub would be the kitchen, dining room, and around the fireplace. Everyone would talk, sharing in the work and the conversation.

Tonight as I did the prep work for tomorrow’s meal – making a coffee cake with my nearly 6 yo daughter, talking with each child about the dish they are wanting to help make tomorrow - it reminded me of each member of my family.

Right now, as I write, the bread rolls are on their final rise and the oven is warming. Soon they will be ready. Every holiday gathering, my Aunt Kristy brings the rolls. White and fluffy and yummy. 

I make these myself now. I wonder if Kristy knows of how much I learned from her stories of making rolls and how much that tradition carries over now to my children who love to sit and talk with me as I shape the dough.

My 10 yo son can’t wait for the broccoli cheese casserole, while my 12yo is so glad she is not required to eat it :) .  I too love this dish but only make it on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

My Uncle Pat usually brought this dish, a dish passed down from one of my Great Grandmothers.  Tonight I think of Pat and his family and can see them in my mind around their own table with their girls and grandchildren.

As I prepped the turkey, stuffing it with aromatic vegetables, readying it to just pop into the oven in the morning, I thought of the long conversation I had with mom today. My 18 yo brother is off to a girlfriend’s house for his first Thanksgiving away and my 16 yo brother is spending Thanksgiving with others.

It made me think with fondness of the Thanksgivings I spent away from family when I was a young adult. At 16 in South Africa, I made my host family an American Style Thanksgiving Dinner. Trying to figure out a replacement for Velvetta cheese, that just wasn’t available.  At 20, spending the holiday with a co-worker and her family.

I think of my (not-so-little) brothers,  experiencing how other families celebrate the holiday for the first time, and hope they know how much they are loved and how I’m thinking of them.

In the morning, we will be making our own Thanksgiving memories for our kids as a family. Because we don’t live near family and aren’t able to travel, we have created our own traditions. We all cook together, everyone helping with their favorite dishes from our holiday brunch and dinner menu.

We’ve interweaved our favorite traditions - cooking together, eating, card games, and football – together. And someday I hope our kids will remember the Thanksgiving of their past with fondness.

Today, I am thankful for you, and for my family, and for these memories I have of the people who have been important to my life, who have left their mark on me. Thank you – and Happy Thanksgiving!

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2 Responses to A Time to Treasure Family and Memories – Happy Thanksgiving!

  1. Sounds like a great family time. Enjoy the blessing. There are many who don’t have that.

  2. Maor says:

    As an Atmospheric Scientist, I think I can help clear this up. I believe it’s aculalty the butterflies in Japan that cause hurricanes in the US. The butterflies in America cause ice storms in Russia and the butterflies flapping their wings in Australia make beautiful weather in the Mediterranean. There must be a lot of butterflies in Australia. Kate Cs last blog post..

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