Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Give Thanks, or not.

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, well, except for St Patrick's Day (obviously!!). But since my mom passed away and my aunt went into a nursing home, I have to admit, It's bittersweet. 

Although we all go our separate ways now, when I was growing up, Thanksgiving was always at our house and Christmas was always at the Devinneys. I could probably write a best seller on those two dinners alone! But that's a whole other story!!

By September Harriet would start buying her canned goods and would call my sister and I weekly to give us the tally. Then, a few days before, she would get out the "good dishes." I think she purchased them with green stamps. She would carefully set the table the day before, with Christmas music blaring in the background, to get her in the holiday spirit. The menu was the same year after year. Aunt Babe made the cole slaw and jello. Mary Alice brought the relish tray which my cousin Georgie devoured. Of all 30 or so of us, I think he was the only one who liked olives and radishes. Come to think of it, I think he was the only one who ate the beets also. And the green beans. Maybe he just didn't like the turkey. I'll have to check on that!


As we got a little older, you knew wedding bells were in the air when one of us brought a boyfriend or girlfriend to Thanksgiving dinner. The engagement ring was usually expected that Christmas. Our friends would stop by after dinner and we would all sit around the table and play games or just talk until the wee hours of the morning.  

When we kids started having kids, we just kept adding a card table. When there was no more room in the dining room, we just started setting up additional tables in the living room of my mom's tiny house. 

We were young, and we had no idea that when we were crammed around that table holding our hands up high in the air when Aunt Babe screamed "WHO WANTS PUMPKIN PIE?" that they would be some of the best memories of our lives. 

Or just maybe we did. The grandkids and great nieces and nephews still tell me how much they loved sharing holidays meals and were thankful that we did it as many years as we did until logistically, it just couldn't be done anymore. We only had one bathroom!! 

I am so thankful that these two crazy sisters raised their kids to enjoy each other. So much so, that all these years later, we still consider ourselves not just cousins, but friends. 

And for that, on this Thanksgiving, I am thankful to God for the gift of Harriet and Babe!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. 

*The picture above of my mother and Aunt Babe was taken on Thanksgiving 1974. The only workspace they had to feed thirty people was the kitchen table. Notice the towel rack right on the wall, And the sink with the pipes, my mothers apron,come to think of it, I don't remember having cabinets in the kitchen and can't remember where we kept the every day dishes. (we never had to do the dishes, Thank God!!) The "good" ones were kept in the China mother would kill me if she knew I sent this picture of her dirty kitchen all over the Internet!!