Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Through the Years

We had the great family feasts that everybody had on Thanksgiving. There was the featured Turkey and Dressing AND the giant Ham with granny's special glaze (grape jelly - believe it or not!). The ham was then decorated with pineapples and cherries. All the sides were there - the mashed potatoes and gravy in a gravy boat. The corn and green beans. My personal favorite - the sweet potatoes drowning in syrup and covered in marshmallows. I can't forget the chicken and dumplings (ohh, I might have to make those this year!) There was so much food that it would hardly fit on the table.

We would be playing with cousins and, in my case, aunts and uncles. Occasionally stopping to wash the dishes every so often so the kitchen wouldn't be in complete chaos! I always made sure I was there to lick the beaters when the potatoes were mashed or the latest batch of cake batter was ready.

As we got older and the family expanded my Aunt Edna started to rent the Omar Women's Club for Thanksgiving. It turned into our yearly family reunion until everybody moved so far away it just wasn't feasible to do anymore. Granny still did the Turkey and the Ham but everybody else kicked in the side dishes and the decorations. Those were probably my favorite Thanksgivings.

I would show up with Bobby and my cousins would show up with their newest children. That side of the family more than made up for my sides lack of progeny.They reveled in their children and I reveled in their children too - and then I was glad to go back to my honeymoon lifestyle that Bobby and I maintained throughout our marriage. It was good.

Then I moved to Florida. We invited friends and coworkers from the track because no one should be alone on Thanksgiving and we all lived a vagabond lifestyle. For one day we would drop our guard and leave the competitive bodyslamming at the track. We had a true truce.

I usually would have a job that would allow me to have morning kennel work off and I would get dinner ready. Then my coworker and I would split morning and night turnouts so we each had a little time off. The dogs still had to be cared for - they don't know it's Thanksgiving. We would close night turnout with an extra treat of vanilla wafers or marshmallows for the dogs. So they had their holiday too.

Once I got divorced and moved back to West Virginia I had to make the rounds for everybody's house on Thanksgiving. That first year I had 6 Thanksgiving dinners and each house would send me home with leftovers. I was so stuffed that not only did I have a food hangover but I was litterally as stuffed as a blood soaked Tick! Food Hangover would not cover the state I was in that year!

Now I make my own feast again. I take it easy. I may go to my uncle's house - or not - just depends on my mood. My mom gets no joy from the holiday, although she does cook. She and my sister can do their thing and I will do mine. I prefer peace to the tension that they seem to revel in.

I usually cook and invite people over who I know don't have anybody. I dont' feel like cooking this year. I did donate a bag of food to a coworker who recently lost her job due to injury. We all went together to make sure she had a nice holiday. Chalk one up for Fruth employees doing good deeds once again.

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