Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thinking Turkey

I can't believe Thanksgiving is almost here. As usual, time flies...when you're having a good time, of course. Or maybe it just seems to be that way as we get older. I don't even know what family plans are for this T-Day. I do know that my youngest believes that I should roast a turkey, even if it's the two of us sharing it. I'm really not looking forward to eating every form of turkey sandwich and/or casserole known to woman, if that's the case. But what's a mother to do when most of her chicks have pretty much left the nest and have "another" family to spend holidays with?

I promised myself that I wouldn't be the kind of mother who would insist that her offspring (daughters, in my case) spend at least one holiday with the family. I saw and heard too many arguments about going to this family or that family-in-law holiday dinner to last a lifetime. I did NOT want to repeat that with my own. So far, I haven't, and we usually find a way to all get together, even if late in the day for a second meal, sometimes lasagna instead of turkey.

And I find myself looking back at the holidays from my childhood. Unlike most of my maternal cousins, I lived in the city, while they lived in the country. I adored going to my aunt's or cousin's or great-aunt's homes for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was a day away from the mundane, and there was always something different and often special to do. At my great-aunt Dorothy's (my mother's mother's sister), we were allowed to feed the lambs by bottle. At my great-aunt Lucy's (Dorothy's sister), we once had fresh milk straight from the cow, and there was an outhouse. There were trees to climb (on nice-weather days) and hay wagons to play on. There were eggs to gather and the best food imaginable to eat. But best of all, there were kids to play with and, as an only child, this was what made holidays special for me. Of the six of us within twelve years of age, there were two cousins older than me--both girls--and three younger--one girl and two boys. It was heaven! And even though I was a city girl and went to school in the city, while they were all country kids and went to school together, we were never strangers. Later, when I moved to the country, I had an advantage. I was related to many of my fellow students. I wish I could see them more often now, but we've all grown up with families and families' families of our own. I'm happy that my daughters were able to at least attend school with some of their cousins (sons and daughters of my cousins), but I wish we hadn't abandoned those memorable holiday dinners.

So whether we all get together--the four daughters and their spouses and intendeds and four children of their own--or not, and whether I'm asked to fix the turkey or not, I hope in some way we make new memories of our own this Thanksgiving. And I hope your memories of this holiday are the best ever!


Gillian Layne said...

Good for you, not adding to the "holiday guilt"! A branch of our extended family is so obsessive about everyone getting together on a specific day, that I see the younger families not able to put together their own traditions with their new families, and that's just wrong.

You know, if it's just the two of you, they have really nice turkey breasts that roast up very pretty and would't leave you with nearly the mess to clean up.

I hope you have a lovely holiday!

Estella said...

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Roxann Delaney said...

What a great idea, Gillian! (And I love your name. I almost named but youngest Gillian, but she ended up with Mallory instead.) It appears we all may get together in the evening, but it's still up in the air. With this bunch, there's no telling. LOL

Roxann Delaney said...

And a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, too, Estella!