I love Thanksgiving.
I have deeply cherished memories from my childhood of going to my grandparents house for the big Peters' Thanksgiving celebration. Both my grandmother and grandfather had large families and they all still pretty much lived in the same area of western New York, so the gatherings always included a ton of aunts and uncles and cousins. My immediate family lived in Michigan, so we always drove in the night before and got there late. We would get up the next morning and watch the parade on television while Grandma and Mom prepared for the feast to come. In later years, after my grandparents moved to a smaller house, we would all get dressed up and hop in the car to go to whichever relative's house who was hosting that year.
We always watched the Lions play football (no matter how bad they lost) and at sometime during the day/evening, we'd get the cards out for rousing games of 31, euchre, fantan, or (for the more skilled group) pinochle or bridge. Depending on the actual venue, we had video games or a pool table to keep the kids amused. Sometimes there'd even be a ping-pong table.
Of course, given the nature of the holiday, we always had a ton of food. Just walking into the house, you were overwhelmed by the savory aromas of turkey and stuffing, gravy and potatoes, fresh bread, and that odd cranberry sauce that was in the shape of the can in which it came. Of course, before the actual mealtime came, most of us kids had already spoiled our appetites gorging on cheese and crackers and the myriad other snacks which had been positioned throughout the house.
It's been years since we've all gotten together. My grandparents have passed on and we've mostly lost touch with the relatives from New York. Still, the holiday warms my heart. This year we're heading down to Austin, Texas where my sister-in-law, JoAnn, will be hosting the holiday for the first time. The outer trappings may be different -- the warm Austin climate is a far cry from the blustery weather of western New York -- but this is still family getting together to celebrate.
And I'm sure I'll spoil my appetite on the cheese and crackers.
So, what is your most cherished memory of the Thanksgiving season?
Saturday, November 18, 2006
I love Thanksgiving.