Thanksgiving is a holiday that totally baffles me. I really don't believe the basis of the whole she-bang. I mean, I can't imagine that things really happened the way the “perfect” stories tell. It it one that I've “boycotted” since I've lived alone. I always worked both the day before and the day after (along with Halloween and New Year's Eve) so that I could have the week around Christmas off since that's when my family always gets together. When I was a kid, though, we did travel a bit. We would occasionally go to my Grandma Mary's house (my dad's mom) but we always went to my Grandma Evelyn's house (my mom's mom). Random side question, am I the only person that refers to those houses using my grandma's names and not my grandpa's names?
Anyway. My Grandma Evelyn always had a full spread of food. The deviled eggs were in the fridge on the second shelf down. The chocolate milk for us kids was on the top shelf (I used to have to get Trevor to pour it for me if I couldn't get one of the adults to pay attention to me). My Grandpa Frank always carved the turkey until the last year he was with us, my dad did it that year. I remember he used to do it to the left of the sink and would give the dogs little pieces while he would steal little pieces as he was cutting. Then in the years after, we ate at my Aunt Jerri's and my Uncle Bob carved it. Grandma always made homemade noodles and baked it with chicken. There were always two kinds of stuffing, one with oysters and one without. My mom always got stuck mashing the potatoes because Trevor, Amanda and I always wanted to see the lumps to make sure they were real and my Aunt Jerri “mashed” with a hand mixed (that's just not right!!). There would be an excessive amount of green beans and corn and homemade cole slaw and homemade bread and rolls and salad. The kids always had to fetch the chairs and extra table from the basement and set it up in the living room before we could eat. My Grandma and Grandpa sat at the ends of the table, my mom and Aunt Jerri on the side by the china cabinet, and my dad and Uncle Bob on the side by the kitchen.
The absolute best part? We all were happy. We were nothing like the bickering group of people that we are now that both my Grandpa and Grandma have passed. More than the food, or where we sat, I remember the laughter. My Grandpa could laugh and it would echo through the whole house. And when you add in everyone else at the table laughing, it was a memory I hope I never forget.
So, on this Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for the things I'm thankful for all year long: my family, my friends, my fur babies, but most of all, I'm thankful for my memories. The good ones. The bad ones. The happy ones. The sad ones. The ones that only I laugh at. And the ones that are fuzzy enough that I wonder if they really happened. All of those memories have made me who I am. And, I will forever be thankful that they've made me this person that sits here writing today.