Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgivings Past

It's going to be a quiet Thanksgiving here this week.  I'm still getting used to Pally and my husband is sick with a nasty cold.  Do I need to say I'm not cooking the big dinner?

So, I'm thinking about Thanksgivings past.  I have a photo from our Thanksgiving in Florida where Roy and I are smiling at the camera and everyone behind us is making faces.  I didn't know it until I saw the photograph.  That's how our family is at Thanksgiving - laughing and enjoying themselves.

A quiet moment at the beach
This photo is from the same thanksgiving - two sisters talking while they dip their toes into the Gulf of Mexico.  That was a good Thanksgiving, but there were others.

Same daughter, another state (Washington).  Our daughter and her husband had bought a brand new house and invited us for dinner.  She had spent a bonus (when companies still paid bonuses) on a brand new cherry dining table made by the Amish.  It was gorgeous, but before we ate they covered it well with pads and tablecloths.  I laughed inside, but it was really a lovely Thanksgiving.  They are really good cooks.

Same daughter, another state (Idaho).  (She learned this moving around business from her parents.)  They had bought a quirky old house in Idaho.  There was a gorgeous Japanese maple just outside the dining room window.  Our whole family was there.  She had bought a kit for making a gingerbread house and we had a fun time putting it together.  (The kit had enough candy in it for tasters.)  It was cold and icy.  I knew there was a secret floating around, but it didn't come out.  Later we heard from the quiet daughter that she was divorcing her husband.  She would have collected so many hugs if she'd just had the courage to come out with it.

Harris Ranch.  We have family all over the Left Coast (the Pacific Coast).  We have driven from San Diego to Washington State many times.  In the middle of the drive up the center of California there is an oasis called Harris Ranch.  By time you get there you have driven many miles through farmland and large empty spaces.  We are so happy to arrive at Harris Ranch and rest a while.

One Thanksgiving Day we were traveling and hungry and stopped at Harris Ranch to find they had a huge Thanksgiving Buffet.  Dinner with all the trimmings.  You can see why we call it an oasis.

Lyons in Stockton.  We had been visiting my mother in a rest home that Thanksgiving.  On the way home we were hungry and stopped in Stockton to eat.  It was late, but when the staff heard we hadn't had Thanksgiving Dinner they rustled up the full deal.  I'll always remember their kindness.

The Bank Bldg. in Woodland.  This is the saddest one.  Roy's father had died a day or two before.  All the relatives were in town for the funeral.  It was Thanksgiving Day and the Bank Bldg. was closed for the holiday, but when my mother-in-law asked them, they opened the restaurant just for us - a single menu - and we all had Thanksgiving dinner together.  Some of us hadn't seen each other in years.  It was a sweet sad time.

Our home in Phoenix, Arizona.  My parents had come to visit for the holidays and I'd cooked the big meal.  Roy was a surveyor and his crew consisted of young men on their own and from many backgrounds.  That morning one of the men dropped by to talk to Roy and pick his brain about surveying.  He was embarrassed when he found we had company, but we talked him into staying.  He was great company, talking about his home in Connecticut and regaling us with stories of living there.

Our home in San Diego.  We often invite someone we don't know for Thanksgiving - if there's anyone left to invite.  San Diegans are hospitable people at Thanksgiving.  We've had servicemen from Camp Pendleton and a family who were new to the area and sort of lost.  We've had our kids together and separately.  (When we're looking at houses to buy, I always think about a place big enough to have the family over for dinner.)

The first Thanksgiving my kids took over the meal for me.  They were at our home for a visit and I was not really up to cooking that year, so the kids just threw me out of the kitchen and cooked it themselves.

Last Thanksgiving.  We invited company, but I was finding it was all of a sudden too big of a job.  My granddaughter stepped up and together we made the big meal.  That's the kind of family we have.

So, this post started out a little sad, but I'm smiling now as I write.  Whatever your circumstances this Thanksgiving, enjoy your day.



  1. I can't believe you remember all those Thanksgivings! I never remember much from each holiday--just that we have a nice, relaxing time with family. I think the only thing we really remember is one year my cousin dropping the f-bomb at the table and storming off. It was so crazy, we all just starting laughing.

    I wish you a very nice holiday, Marilynne. I'm thankful that you got your new pacemaker and that you are on the road to good health! :)

  2. We went out for KFC tonight (take home)tonight and will go out again tomorrow. Thanks for checking in Lin.

  3. It is funny that I *still* keep that table covered up tight. The covers only come off when I want to show it off. That's silly!

    Great memories, I'm glad you shared them. Let's plan a big get together for next year!!

    Love, Cindy

  4. Cinders, I love your table and understand totally why you cover it up. Wait until Squirt is grown up before you try serving a meal on it uncovered.


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