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A Day of Thankfulness

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I was awake at 5am this morning. Couldn't sleep, so I got up and made a pot of coffee. Then I ate a bowl of hot oatmeal despite having sworn off food last night.

My normal sleep pattern had been disturbed lately starting with a quick visit by my youngest brother. He and his wife were on their way from central Kansas to southeastern Mississippi and a Thanksgiving dinner with in-laws. Kathy and I stayed up talking with them until 2am. From what they said, I definitely got the impression they weren't enjoying the interaction with and between the three teenaged boys they traveled with. My brother and his family were gone by 7 am Wednesday morning on another day of travel.

We had a great Turkey Day! lo5an, A, and 16 other folk were here for lunch. I have a lot to be thankful for: Kathy, health, life in a great country that's full of relatives, friends, and lj friends who are generous to share a bit of their lives with me.

As far as good food, Thanksgiving hasn't changed much in the 40 years of married life with Kathy. In the early years, we ate lunch at Kathy's grandparent's house, an old fashion extended family situation with uncles and aunt and their families over potluck food. There I was introduced to the old fashioned farm style way where menfolk ate first while the wives hovered to insure their man had everything he craved. After the men finished, it was the children's turn, and finally, after children ate and the men were settled in the living room or on the front porch, weather permitting, the women ate and cleared and washed the dishes. No plastic or paper plates were used. From that time to today, I can recall only one change in the Thanksgiving menu; Kathy's grandmother always made banana pudding.

The extended family stuff was new to me. One set of my grandparents had passed on before I was born, and the other set lived an impossible distance away in terms of time and economics. I was grateful for the opportunity to experience the old fashion ways, especially the part where Kathy submissively waited on me. Her grandmother and aunts actively corrected transgressors.

Later, the dinners moved to Kathy's parents house and the eldest daughter cooked the meal with help from Kathy and their mother. The uncles did the same with their families, but the aunt and her brood still ate with us. Somehow over the years, I think it started with a sister-in-law, the eating order changed to where the children were served first.

Later yet, Kathy and I became alternate hosts for the meal with her parents; Thanksgiving at one place and Christmas at the other. Then Kathy's brothers started going to their in-laws for holidays and the crowd at the family dinners shrank to the present size, usually under 20.

Never under estimate the allure of pie. The brothers may eat at the in-laws now, but they and their kids manage to drop by in the afternoon for pie and other sweet offerings to the day of thankfulness.
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