Thanksgiving to me means waking up and hearing Mommy finish preparing her food responsibilities for both Grandmother and Grandfather’s house (her parents), and Grandma and Grandpa’s house (my dad’s parents).
Thanksgiving means, driving to Grandmother’s house- a few years wearing short-sleeve shirts cause of the warm sunshine, other years bundled up as the snow flurries came down.
Thanksgiving means, giving and getting more hugs than you can imagine.
Thanksgiving to me means aunts catching up, uncles relaxing, and cousins running here and there, happy to be together again, me being one of the younger cousins.
Thanksgiving means, checking to see who had the longest verse to read and watching the Jaret and Daniel switch them all around so they had the shortest ones.
Thanksgiving is Roberta and me eating the mints before dinner, or maybe Roberta didn’t eat hers, and scolded me for eating mine, or vice versa, I can’t remember. ;)
Thanksgiving is listening to Uncle Glen and Grandfather carve the turkey.
Thanksgiving is Grandmother giving some orders, and taking some from her daughters, and mainly just watching her huge family come together.
Thanksgiving is fine china, and glass goblets, and real silver.
Thanksgiving is finally sitting down at the long table- stretched from one end of the family room, all the way through to the dining room, so that we are all sitting at one table.
Thanksgiving is Grandfather praying for his family, the joys and sorrows of the past year, and thanking God for the food, and God’s many blessings.
Thanksgiving is sitting across from cousins in the very middle of Grandmother’s living and dining rooms, right where those slatted, folding doors used to be.
Thanksgiving is Aunt Nina’s mashed potatoes, and minced meat pie, Aunt Bonnie’s rolls and orange cranberry relish, Aunt Sharon’s orange salad, Mommy’s sweet potatoes and pretzel salad, Aunt Gayle’s pumpkin pie, and Aunt Roberta’s cherry pie.
Thanksgiving is everyone sharing their scripture verse and what they are thankful for.
Thanksgiving is some people saying the same thing that they are thankful for every year, but truly is the best thing they could say – that is, that they are thankful for their family.
Thanksgiving is some of the aunts shedding tears and sharing some of the trials God has taught them to be thankful for over the past year.
Thanksgiving is cleaning up after dinner- everyone working together to wash, dry, stack, and put away.
Thanksgiving at Grandmother and Grandfather’s house is being together with the most important people in the world…my family.
Thanksgiving to me means leaving Grandmother and Grandfather’s house a little early to drive to Grandma and Grandpa’s house to have another Thanksgiving dinner.
Thanksgiving there means I’m the oldest cousin, and generally find activities to do with the younger ones before dinner.
Thanksgiving at Grandma and Grandpa’s is, for the most part means being a little quieter, calmer, and more relaxed.
Thanksgiving is plastic plates, plastic silverwear, plastic cups.
Thanksgiving is buffet style eating and tv tray tables.
Thanksgiving is Grandma and Grandpa leading all of us in a short prayer, said altogether, at one time.
Thanksgiving is watching the Uncles and Daddy watch the game on tv, or having it in the background, as Aunt Kathy, Aunt Diane, Aunt Nancy and Mommy clean up and prepare for pies.
Thanksgiving is spending the evening relaxing, catching up, and maybe eating once again, until it’s time to go home.
Thanksgiving at Grandma and Grandpa’s house looks a little different than Grandmother and Grandfather’s house, but means exactly the same thing to me – being together with the most important people in the world…my family.
That’s what Thanksgiving means to me, and will always mean to me. I miss those days.