Happy Thanksgiving! Soon we will all gather around our tables for a bountiful feast. Turkey, dressing, and all the fixings will be consumed, the food will be plentiful and our hearts as well as our tummys, will be full.
Today, I have been cooking the dishes I will share with family in Orlando. I have made a few decorations, and even resurrected an old family tradition of a pineapple turned into a turkey. A neighbor stopped in to say hello and had to grab her camera and take some pictures. Have you ever seen one of these? I grew up with my grandma always making one for our table. Also, every thanksgiving, my grandpa would make a big turkey out of chicken wire and paper mache. He would cover the turkey with leaves and make the wonderful plumage out of crocus leaves. I guess its no wonder I need to be makin’ something all the time. My grandparent’s dinner always had these two turkeys made by them. I know I remember that part as much as the food, for sure!
My neighbor had stopped in to borrow some things from my downstairs party supply shelf. She is hosting her first Turkey Day at her own home. Usually they go out of town to visit her family, so she was pretty excited to be hosting and wanted everything to be perfect. She is a nature girl, and had gone to the country and collected some pretty great things. Lots of grasses and cotton from the fields and even some oyster shells. I gave her a few feathers, a bunch of great big cans, some burlap and some rope. She was going back home to get creative and make her centerpieces. I can’t wait to see what Jenn comes up with. She may have just started her own tradition. Years from now, her son’s may be insisting on using cotton and jute to make something for their own tables. I love that about this holiday. It is one of complete tradition. You make the foods that YOU and YOUR family love. I never had eaten a green bean casserole until I got married, my family didn’t do that. And my husband had never eaten stone crab claws as an appetizer while the turkey cooked. WE had been doing that for years. I wonder why we stopped. MMMMM, thinking about the drawn butter and those claws…Do you get out the family china? Do you have things that you just must serve or eat? And do you make a centerpiece? And do you have a children’s table? Oh, and another tradition is to eat at night, but many families have a mid day meal? What about you?
This year will be a sad Thanksgiving for my husband. His father passed away this year. Just two years ago, Dad was with us on St Simons and watched as Jeff fried four turkeys that year. We will cherish those memories and give thanks for the guidance he gave to so many, and for the special times we did have.
Life is a precious gift, and the loss of our first parent between us is a reminder to treasure the time we have with each of our loved ones. Each day is a gift, and I hope to remember to give thanks for the many blessings that we have been given. What are you thankful for this year?