Today I’m thankful for memories.
Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday when I was growing up. Better to me than even Christmas. Turkey Day usually meant a long weekend in Northern California with my grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and people I wasn’t even related to but thought I was.
Both sets of grandparents were friends and a lot of times both sides of my family would be in one house. It took me a while to figure which cousins or aunts or uncles belonged to my dad’s side or my mom’s side. I kind of liked it that way.
The best Thanksgivings were the ones with a house full of people and multiple card tables set up in different rooms and way too much food and rubber band fights and The Wizard of Oz on the little TV in the den. And don’t even get me started on the first time I got to sit at the adult table!
My first Thanksgiving as a married woman was 1900 miles away from those family holidays and it made me very sad. I made a pecan pie to take to Todd’s grandparents’ house, but the top of it burned. Being in the already depressed state I was, I decided that I was just going to stay home. Todd could go spend Thanksgiving with his family, but I was too homesick. He was less than sympathetic. So I went, sans the pecan pie.
There were tons of people and food and laughing and it was wonderful! It reminded me so much of my favorite gatherings as a child and, honestly, I think it was the first time since moving to my new life five months earlier that it finally felt like home. (Don’t tell Todd this, but his tough love was just the kick in the pants I needed.)
Thanksgiving continued to evolve after the kids came along. My one sister and her family lived in Arkansas for a few years, my parents had moved there after retirement, Todd’s parents bought a condo there and it was always spent with family. Sometimes it was just a small gathering, sometimes it was a huge gathering and sometimes it was somewhere in between.
And now, with a different chapter in our lives, it has evolved yet again. A few years ago we spent Thanksgivings with our friends, Dave and Tina, and other than Katie being traumatized during a game of Bananagrams, it was a lot of fun. We’ve been invited back since (probably so Tina could pick on Katie some more) but Katie was sick the last two years and we weren’t able to make it. (hmm…) We intended to go this year, but this morning I woke up with thrush. Thrush makes me feel icky. So I made the green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole and apple pie I was going to take and we changed our plans.
Someday we’ll reminisce about the Thanksgiving that Taylor and Katie drove to Wawa after 3:00 and came home with whipped cream, stuffing, mashed potatoes and a package of thick-cut deli turkey.
And I will again be thankful for memories.