Monday, November 30, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
My earliest memories of Thanksgiving involve my Grandma Norcott's house. We would get there in the late morning, or early afternoon, and the house would be warm, the steam already condensing on the back porch glass, and the smells of food cooking would permeate the household.
I remember we would all be there, Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Jim, Nanny Rose, Papa Tom, Aunt Josie, Mom, Dad, James, and myself. Pooh would be there too, and we would be in the living room and porch.
My Grandma would set a table that is hard to describe, but a prince would have been able to sit there. The best silverware, the crystal glasses, the centerpieces, everything in perfect position. When Nora set a table, she set it for royalty, no matter who was coming.
And oh the food! I have never eaten anything, anywhere, that could rival my grandmother's cooking. Turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, string beans, julienned carrots, creamed onions. Everything hit the table hot, and everything was perfect. To this day I have no idea how she did it, but she did.
After dinner we would watch King Kong, then Mighty Joe Young, then football. Some years we went to the parade, my dad would get tickets, it was cold, but the chocolate was hot, and we always got back for dinner.
That was Thanksgiving, till I turned 16 this was the way this day went.
Then things changed. First Papa Tom died, then my father left, and it just couldn't be the same.
Thanksgiving became a holiday that was no longer looked forward too. Sometimes it reminded me more of what was no longer than what was still around.
It became aimless, often ending up at a restaurant. The family was split, and the togetherness went away.
Time went on, Aunt Josie passed away, then Uncle Jim, followed by Grandpa, then Nora.
Finally, my Dad too got sick and died, and then Madison came, and Thanksgiving started, finally, to take shape again, in my heart. Which was good.
Nanny Rose passed away, and now there are only 2 people left from the Thanksgivings of my childhood. My mother and my brother. New people are here, Gabby, Devon, Sioban and Mykayla will share the day with us, and that is a good thing.
However, on this holiday, more than most, I think about the past. I hope that the Thanksgivings that my daughter remembers will be as fondly remembered as mine are, and I wish, fervently, that I can feel the peace I used to feel.
Life does change, few things stay the same, and that is OK, indeed, it's the way it has to be, but the purpose of this day, spending it with friends and family, should never change.