Memories and traditions

As a child:

Dad up early to put the turkey in. Breakfast in the already-warm kitchen. Off to church to sing, “Come ye thankful people come, Raise the song of harvest home!” Back to watch the Macy’s parade on TV, house filling with delicious turkey smells. Family arriving: grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins (when we weren’t going to their houses instead). Inside: lots of football on TV. Outside: playing tag in the leaf maze I raked out in the yard, playing a mild version of touch football (“Don’t you dare fall down and get those clothes muddy!”). Finally the feast is ready. Saying grace. Digging in. Turkey and stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, a mountain of mashed potatoes, green beans, lots more. After, playing the ring-toss game in the hallway. And then the pies! Pumpkin, apple, Aunt Grace’s lemon chiffon. Yum!

Now:

Up early to get ready for a long drive north. All the pets fed and cared for. All our food packed in the car (cranberry relish, sweet potatoes, portobello mushroom dish for vegetarian Ellen, pumpkin pie). Driving up the Garden State Parkway, listening to NPR or John Denver on CD. Arriving at Ellen’s sister Ann’s, already full of turkey smells. Happy greetings from Dave, Cristina, Zach, Alfie and Ann. Lots of talk. Shrimp and cocktail sauce. Getting dinner ready, organized chaos. Making the gravy. Finally, the feast is ready. Saying grace. Remembering those no longer with us. Saying what each of us is thankful for. Digging in: turkey (drumstick for me), stuffing, sweet potatoes, a mountain of mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, cranberry relish, mushroom dish, vegetables, lots more. A break to recover. Perhaps some piano music from Dave. Later, the pies! Pumpkin, apple, pecan. Yum! Friday, visiting my Mom on the way home at her place. Good talk, good memories.

Happy thanksgiving, everyone!

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