When I was growing up, the holiday usually began early at our house. Mother was up at the crack of dawn to put the turkey in the oven. It roasted all day until mid-afternoon when we sat down to eat. One year while we were living in Tucson, Arizona, my uncle, aunt, cousins, and grandparents from Denver, Colorado, were expected. Uncle Jack, Aunt Sharon, and their daughter Kelly drove down from Denver because Aunt Sharon was afraid of flying. Granddad had his own plane, and he and Grammy flew down with Kelly’s brother Bill, who was about two, the same age as my younger brother Andy.
Kelly and I were both eight years old. Uncle Jack, Aunt Sharon, and Kelly arrived first thing Thanksgiving morning, before Mother had even gotten out of bed to fix the turkey. Grammy, Granddad, and Bill were due to arrive later that day. Meanwhile, Kelly and I did the Hokey Pokey umpteen million times and swung in the front porch swing while anticipating their arrival.
Because of mechanical difficulty with Granddad’s plane, they were forced to land in Phoenix and drive the rest of the way in a rented car. Thus they arrived later than expected. When they did, Mother and Aunt Sharon made us change into nicer clothes, and we all sat down to the Thanksgiving meal. Grace was said, and Dad carved the turkey.
After eating, Kelly and I played in my room while the men collapsed in front of a football game on television, the women cleaned up, and Andy and Bill ran around the house screaming and occasionally crying. It was a mad house until about eight o’clock when the little ones were put down for the night. All too soon, it was time for us to go to bed as well, and we were soon asleep.
Our family had many other happy Thanksgivings in Arizona and Wyoming with many other relatives. Now, here in Sheridan, with my parents and grandparents gone, my brother in Florida, and uncles, aunts, and cousins scattered across the country, I partake of my Thanksgiving meal at the local senior center, then come home and collapse in my recliner with a good book, sometimes doze, and often reflect on holidays when I was younger.
What do you remember about Thanksgiving Day when you were growing up? I now leave you with a song synonymous with the holiday. Have a great one.
Author Abbie Johnson Taylor
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver
That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Click to hear an audio trailer.
9 thoughts on “A Thanksgiving Day Memory”
Beautiful post Abbie. I wish we were closer and could have you over every Thanksgiving. You are an inspiration.
Thanks, little brother I wish you all were closer so I could have you all over for Thankgiving dinner, but unfortunately there are no physics labs in Wyoming. Have a good one, anyway. Will call Thursday.
How wonderful that you can sing in your beautiful voice your Thanksgiving song. Have a great day, Abbie. As your brother says, you are indeed an inspiration.
Thank you, Glenda. You are also an inspiration.
You have some lovely memories Abbie. Happy Thanksgiving. Cher’ley
Thank you, Cherley. I also hope you have a great holiday.
Abbie–I hope that you enjoyed your quiet Thanksgiving this year. Thanks for your link to your singing. I did not guess the selection, but thoroughly enjoyed “Over the River.”
My favorite Thanksgivings were those that the extended family(25-30 people) celebrated at my Aunt Zita’s restaurant which allowed lots of room for preparing food, setting up a buffet, pushing together four long tables to make one for all guests, eating of much delicious food while the restaurant was closed to the public, and playing afterwards with cousins.
Thanks for all of your interesting posts and music this year! Alice
Thank you, Alice, I had a nice Thanksgiving and hope you did the same.