As we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, my mind wanders back to the simple Thanksgiving days of my youth—50+years ago—when my mom, grandma, or aunts hosted the noon meal. Each year we rotated to whose house we would go to, and each holds special memories.
Various tables were pushed together so we could all sit and pass the multiple platters and bowls of steaming food in a continuous circle.
We enjoyed the traditional foods of turkey, dressing and mashed potatoes—with a few Swedish dishes mixed in. (On Aunt Maydean’s turn we got the bonus of her homemade root beer.)
After the meal we’d have to dry all the pots, pans, dishes, and silverware used that day with a tea towel that kept getting soggier by each piece. That was part of the tradition too.
Now decades have gone by, changing who sits at our family Thanksgiving table. Our generation of cousins married, adding spouses and new children to the table, or left to join a new family’s table. Others left—but not by choice—due to age or disease.
Tomorrow as I’m eating white turkey meat dipped in cranberry sauce, I’ll be thinking of Thanksgiving pasts and who is missing from our table this year.
It’s just part of Thanksgiving to be grateful for food and family, both present and past.
And I’m really grateful for those memories…