Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Having a Wonderful Thanksgiving

Here in USA Thanksgiving has been a tradition for so many years. In fact, President Abraham Lincoln declared it a holiday on the fourth Thursday of November.

The traditional Thanksgiving is having a turkey along with potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie. Personally I don’t like cranberry or sweet potato so they are out of my thanksgiving dinner; however, I don’t mind if other people do. Pumpkin pie I will have as long as whip cream is available to put on it. I just do not think it has that much taste to it. Growing up I usually had pecan pie because my mother always made it and I liked it better than pumpkin but pecan pie is not always available. Also, I may have apple pie or a berry pie if either is available.

I find today though that many families do not go with the tradition of turkey. I know some families will go with ham or beef for Thanksgiving instead. It does feel very unusual if you visit someone else’s place for Thanksgiving and turkey is not available. That happened to me some time back where I was invited to a family from church to their place for Thanksgiving. They went more for roast beef; however, pie was still available for dessert. The first time I went to their place for Thanksgiving it felt very awkward not to have turkey. Up to that point I always had turkey for thanksgiving. I went to their place for Thanksgiving several times and I knew what to expect after that first year so it was fine. The thing though after Thanksgiving I had to find a way to get turkey. Those years I went to their place for Thanksgiving was that my dad was no longer around and mother would go to my brother Jack’s place in St.Louis, Missouri. Actually I went to Jack’s for Thanksgiving a couple times before mother decided it was a good idea for her to do so. Jack’s place was really not big enough to have both of us go.  A few times though I went to Jack’s for Christmas instead. Jack’s place was different for Thanksgiving because he and his wife are vegetarians so they had a different meal; however, two of their sons were meat eaters so the three of us would still have a chance to have turkey. Jack was not a vegetarian until he married Anne.

Growing up we had all the traditions of Thanksgiving. Often our cousins from Seattle would come to Gig Harbor for Thanksgiving. Also, my dad’s business partner Ralph, his wife, and mother. His mother was something else because she liked playing scrabble with us boys. She usually beat the daylights out of us. She came up with words that we never heard of before. We often would challenge her; however, she always showed us those words were true. We would shake our heads with unbelief still not believing they were English words. What frustrated our mother was when Ralph’s mother would come for a visit primarily at Thanksgiving she would take the paper wrappings off the soups and other cans so mom no longer could tell what were in the cans without opening them. It could take several tries before getting the right can especially those that were the same size.

In those days we kids would eat at the table off from the living room. The room was adjacent to my bedroom and the bathrooms. We became very happy when we graduated to the living room table. It did not happen until we were in junior high. Actually Jack was able to join early because he would have had to eat by himself when I made the living room table for Thanksgiving.

When my sister Barb got married which was during my senior year of high school than my brother-in-law Bob and his family joined us for Thanksgiving. We would then go to their place for Christmas dinner. They lived in Lakewood so it was not too far away. At that time it was about a half an hour drive; now you can do it in about twenty minutes.

Now that my father is gone along with my brother in-laws family the tradition of Thanksgiving is not quite the same. My sister and brother are both on the east coast. Mother does not fly anymore so this year the two of us will spend Thanksgiving dinner at mother’s church. I look forward to some good turkey dinner and enjoy the others that will be in attendance.

I know that many families traditions change over the years especially when marriage occurs among the children and the death of loved ones. So whatever your tradition is have yourself a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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