Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Day Memories

We had planned to have Thanksgiving here at the RV park but after learning how it was handled we changed opted out.  Instead of this being a dinner you pay for and help serve or whatever, it is a group potluck. 

Picture this: Each table of twenty people coordinates among themselves who will bring what, how to decorate the tables, whether or not to have a second gathering the next day for leftovers, etc.  Then on the Big Day the masses ascend in unison with all their dishes to serve.  The din in the room has to be overwhelming while stuff is arranged, thanks given, food getting cold.  No thank you.

This just sounded like too much hassle and confusion to us, and thankfully our new friends,Kay and Tom, felt the same way.  So we opted to have dinner someplace in town that was serving, eat, enjoy ourselves, pay and leave the mess for someone else to clean up.  That is my kind of holiday dinner!

It's kind of like Christmas and Easter dinner for us Jews when we frequent the Chinese restraunts.

Thanksgiving used to be MY holiday when we still had the sticks and bricks home.  I think of it as "the holiday nobody else wanted".  The feasts of Christmas and Easter went to those of the Christian faith, although they certainly allowed the Jewish Mother to attend.  But it just made sense for us to host the turkey dinner. 

And I enjoyed it, gathering all my family together in one place and serving them food and seeing us together.   It reminded me of the good holiday dinners put on by my beloved Grandmother. It does feel strange not to be among them during this holiday.  But I know they are with me in spirit.

I reminisced about all those turkey carcasses of yesteryear and the enjoyment of teasing my cousins and stealing each others buttered rolls and surrendered to a moment of sentimentality.  Then I recalled the drudgery in the kitchen that traditionally fell to the female members of the family while the men watched football in the other room.  Those were the good old days when my Grandmother was still at the helm.

The later years, remembered as the Holidays from Hell, where after she no longer guided.  Now in command were my mother and aunt.   The days started early and the drinking with it.  Sometimes dinner actually was served before the fighing and tears began, closely followed by the accusations. Other times the charred remains of the food were thrown away.

Thus the holidays became known for drunken accusations and being rescued by my cousin Gary when he would take me and my son bowling or to a movie to escape.  Other times my cousin Bonnie and I escaped to a Chinese restraunt where we would order "The Happy Family" as we figured the only way we'd have one was to pay for it.

You can imagine Left Brain's shock at seeing me calmly stepping over my mothers inert body while avoiding the pool of urine surrounding it to cross the room.  This seemed shocking to him and was prompted by the command to "help my mother".  To which my reply was "No, let her sleep, this is better.  Really.  Trust me."  I guess when you come from a "normal" family this looked strange but I learned long ago that after they pass out it's much more pleasant.

So all the memories, good, bad and ugly, blur together on holidays like this, and I give thanks for being able to remember the good ones and try to forgive the others.  I have a firm belief that it's never to late to have a happy childhood.

Long Live the Queen of Selected Memories

1 comment:

  1. I think it's sad that children have to remember their past holidays that way, but you are right. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. So start playing!!!

    I'm glad you opted to go with your new friends to a restaurant for dinner. The chaos at the other place would have driven me crazy. I'm sure your dinner was very enjoyable.

    Today my cards and calendars arrived in the mail, so I will be busy addressing envelopes for a few days.

    Now I'm off make supper for Pogo and me. You have a good night, hugs, Edna B.