As I sit here this morning with my coffee, the guys are still sleeping and Claude is curled up next to me. I have picked up the 50 lb. bag of holiday advertising that came with our newspaper this morning, and the ads are already in the recycling bin. I am not a big shopper, I make as many of my gifts as I can, and I am not a fan of crowds.
I am thinking of other Thanksgivings, and remembering:
Thanksgiving as a young girl was always spent at my grandparents house on the Mississippi River. My grandma Betty would sing as she cooked, and always wore a dress and heels and a pretty apron. My great grandma Ethel would be there helping make dinner, and I remember my Grandpa Don meticulously carving the giant turkey. He was a bit of a perfectionist, so the turkey was usually cool by the time it got to the table, but that's what gravy was for. After the dishes were cleared away (always by all the women, the men would retire to the living room for their post-feast naps), the tablecloth would be pulled away and the Yahtzee game would come out. Ethel and Betty would pull out their cigarette cases and ash trays and fill their coffee cups, and the sound of dice hitting the hard surface would echo in the blue haze of smoke.
Thanksgiving in my college years was such a treat, my '69 Chevy Malibu couldn't get to Bemidji fast enough from Grand Forks (having to stop halfway each time to fill it with oil didn't help....). My mom would cook and my dad would peel potatoes and I would spend as much time snuggling with my little sister as I could, so happy to be home and know I would be well fed and surrounded with love. Grandma Doris would come and bring her zig zag carrot sticks and peanut butter stuffed celery and almond bark coated pretzels. We would cram around our table and fill up on stuffing and green bean casserole, my dad would be the only one enjoying his favorite side dish-lime jello with celery, green olives, peas, and onions, topped with Miracle Whip. My mom still makes it for him to this day, even though he is usually the only one to eat it.
The day after Thanksgiving wasn't spent shopping, it was spent in the woods collecting pine boughs and princess pine. Dad would always have peanuts in the shell, and we brought cocoa in a thermos to keep us warm. The next day was spent in my dad's shop. standing on the cold concrete floor, listening to country music, the heat from the barrel stove keeping it toasty as we crafted wreaths for friends and family.
Thanksgiving after marriage was a completely different affair, I usually had to work the day after turkey so we would often host friends in our little apartment in Bloomington. I remember our first Thanksgiving after we got married, we were living in a furnished apartment as we didn't know if we were staying in Bloomington. We invited all of our friends who also couldn't make it home for the holidays, and it was such fun. Food and games and later on we all went out to a movie. It made the sting of being away from family bearable for all of us.
Thanksgiving in our little house in St. Paul started happening when Charlie came along, both sets of grandparents have journeyed down for the holiday weekend, we always made sure to include shopping and picking out our Christmas tree in the weekend plans.
Since opening our store at the MOA, we have mostly enjoyed our own little Thanksgiving with just the three of us, a relaxing day of just being together, playing games, and watching classic movies. Resting, and gearing up for the craziness of the next few weeks. I did host Jed and Tracy and their girls last year, it was great fun to cook for more than just three of us, and figure out fun things for the girls to do.
I am so grateful for the lifetime of memories contained in this day, thankful for all of my friends and family, and blessed by the love that surrounds me. Happy Thanksgiving to all!