It's one of my favorite holidays. No, that's incorrect. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Yeah, I love gorging myself and I love good food (more than I should, I fear, especially given my desire to avoid exercise). Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for different reasons than that, though. I think I narrowed it down a few years ago. It's because Thanksgiving brings up all of those very old memories and is a time we set aside for family.
Admittedly, these past few years, many of our Thanksgivings have been spent mainly with my in-laws, but that is how things have turned out, and let's just be honest, I consider them just as much family as I do anyone else. Thanksgiving is the day we get to spend with our loved ones and, even if we don't come out and say it, we know that we are loved.
I remember the Thanksgivings spent in my youth with cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. My dad's mother was never, now that I trully appreciate cooking I know this, a very good cook. At least, not when I was a kid. I did not know any better then, but I do now, and having had her cooking, appreciate good food even more. Do not get me wrong, My Grandma H. was a great lady, with a soft spot for me, and I for her, but her cooking was halfhearted by the time I was of an age to remember it clearly.
My other Grandma, though...well, lets just say she was a very good cook. I can't get into the semantics and the differences in kitchens or cooking techniques, because I was a boy and, quite honestly, did not spend more than the required time in the kitchen to gulp down the turkey and rush off to play with the cousins...as soon as I was permitted, in any case. The Turkey was always great, but, I think it was Grandma's Turkey Gravy that made Thanksgiving Dinner SOOOO good.
Beyond the cooking, though, there was relaxation and family. After every dinner, there was a period where the triptofan kicked in and everyone just sort of laid about the house wherever there was room. I like that lounging part.
And, as for family? At my Grandma H.'s the grown-ups sat around and talked and we kids did not get out for awhile. Still, there was inevitably going to be a wrestling match between my dad and my uncle or one of the others...my dad's chest hair seemed to always come out the loser...ok, TMI.
At my Grandma C.'s, the kids could go out in the acre of evergreens that my grandfather had planted. He had passed away in 1976, and so any plans he had for them were long gone. Still, it made a great playground for playing army or hide-and-seek or any other games we came up with. Sometimes, I would just go out and try and imagine my Grandad alive.
I think the strongest memories I have of Thanksgiving, though, are after my Grandma H. had passed and just before we lost my Grandma C. My mom's sister and her husband had bought a place in Cle Elum...up in the Cascades. It was a three or four bedroom house that they got as a place to get away from the hassles of Seattle...or that's what the story was. It was old, a veterinarian had originally owned it. I was driving and had my own car. I also had my camera, a Pentax P3N SLR.
It was, as it turned out, the final Thanksgiving we would have with my Grandma C. Just about all of the local family was there. When it got too hot in the house, or just too crowded, we could go for walks, or for me, I could sometimes go for a short exploratory drive. I took my camera. I now wish I had been more generous with film and had taken more of the family, but at that age you simply know that family members have always been there and they always will. I still have warm memories of a simply furnished home with, then new (to us), halogen lighting. We then might play games, usually Uno. Ahh, what memories can do.
So, Thanksgiving. I want to give my thanks for my family, both on my side and my wife's. I am always glad to see my niece and nephews. I
Mostly, though, I am thankful that I have been able to spend so many Thanksgivings with Cora. I doubt I could love anyone as much as I do her.
I have a job that I enjoy. Friends and family (mostly family who double as friends). Good food and fine pets. So, yeah, I have much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!