26 November 2009

Thanksgiving ramblings…

Well—the leftovers are all put away, most of the dishes are done, the family is gone, and it’s just me and my sister, Lisa, sitting here watching TV (the Game Show Network, of course!), still stuffed from our Thanksgiving dinner. It doesn’t get any better, does it? LOL!

I remember the first Thanksgiving dinner my youngest sister, Lori, and I fixed—our mom was in the hospital and we went to her house and cooked Thanksgiving for the family. As soon as we had eaten, we packed a big dinner for Mom and all went to the hospital to see her (and seek her approval for the meal we had prepared). That was in 2003, and it was Mom’s last Thanksgiving. I remember how apprehensive Lori and I were trying to do what Mom had made look so easy all those years. Now I feel like I can whip out a first-rate Thanksgiving feast without thinking twice. I read a blog entry over on the Simon Says Stamp blog right before my family showed up today. It put me in this somewhat introspective mood, as Heidi shared the story of her Aunt Madonna teaching her to make pies. (Please take a minute to read her post.) She went on to say that “recipes are treasures.” I’d like to share my comment to that post:

Thank you for sharing. I agree that recipes are more than directions to make food--they are links to our past and ensure that those who are no longer with us physically are still with us in spirit. I thought that yesterday as I made the coleslaw from the recipe card in my mom's handwriting. I hope that someday my nieces will also understand the special connection these family meals give us to the past and the passed. Now I'm off to finish up some last minute details--the family should be arriving any minute. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and know that your Aunt Madonna and my mom are smiling down on us.

I hope Mom was watching us today and is proud of the feast I was able to put on the table for our family. If she was watching, I’m sure she smiled at my 10-year-old niece mashing potatoes, and my 15-year-old niece dishing up vegetables and filling glasses at the table. I know she will be equally proud of Lori as she hosts our family’s Christmas celebration in a month or so. Even though Mom is no longer with us, it’s comforting to know that we can carry on the unspoken values that were so important to her—putting a meal full of love on the table and bringing our family around that table, if only for a few hours.

If you celebrated Thanksgiving today, I hope it was full of family and the tradition of the tried and true tastes and smells that link us to our past. Take care of yourself and your loved ones, and have a wonderful evening.