Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thanksgiving Day

Do you have memories of perfect childhood Thanksgivings?
I have several memories that come to mind.
One of being at my grandmother's house and she was a fantastic cook. She had prepared it all and no one brought a dish or anything. Somehow she managed to find a chair for everyone at the same table and all would eat at the same time.
I should say here that in some families it was still customary for the children to eat last, after all the grownups had finished. Our family did not seem to be one of those families for which I am still grateful. Children were given the same importance as the adults. We enjoyed the meal hot and the conversation included us as much as any of our parents. I knew of families where the children were not allowed to speak during a meal.
I had heard of it. Or maybe I was threatened with it!!!
Grandma Effie prepared a wonderful meal but it was strictly her menu and no one ever complained about her food. She was well known for her housewifey skills. Raising a vegetable garden and flower garden,
fruit trees, preserving these and never letting a thing go to waste. She worked long and hard but never complained. I can appreciate it all the more now as I look back.

Our Thanksgiving at her house seemed to me to be perfect in every way. Great pies were served for dessert as well as a cake,  usually pineapple upside down cake. Always a favorite of mine.
As we sat at the table my grandfather, Wiley would make sure we were all quiet then begin the prayer or
"turning thanks" as I thought it was called. Now I know it was called "Returning Thanks" for the blessings and for the daily things God provided us.

After this no one began eating until Grandma said " Roy,(my Dad and the oldest of their children) would you have some turkey?", or "Frances,(my aunt the youngest of their children) would you pass the ham around?" or so on. Then as we began to fill our plates, with a serious look here and there from my mother, we all seemed to begin to eat at the same time.

Nothing sad or serious would be discussed at the table, ever.  This time was spent in "nice" talk.
Then after the adults seemed to guage that we were all finished they would stand and take their plates to the sink. That was the time for the cleanup to begin.

Here, I should say the kids were totally in charge, as though we really wanted to be!!!!  Those who had sat in the handmade rawhide bottomed chairs that were made by my great grandfather, Carrol, would have to clean up the counters and rake out any remaining food, and put away the leftovers. But the two who sat in the red kitchen step stool(see below)   and the sewing chair had to wash and dry. So that is why it was important to go to the dining room table when first called.

After all the cleanup was done the adults would congregate in the living room or on the screened porch for some afternoon talking and visiting. At times Daddy would bring out his violin and we would have music. He could play any instrument that he had some time with. But his favorite was the violin.  He would start off with a tune or two then start taking requests. I have to say here that to this day, I cannot hear a solo violin without going back in mind to those days.  

The whole afternoon we kids would chase around in the yard and return for dessert afterward when our large meal had worn off. The yard was a wonderment in itself. Grandma had a beautiful yard with roses and flowers and trees. Some were so tall that you could hide behind from other cousins and the giggling was contagious. We loved being together. There were no hard feelings allowed there. The yard had something for us to do whatever the season.

Finally later in the evening after eating again, sleepy and tired,  we would head to our individual homes. It was a lovely time and the time that I wish my  kids had experienced in totality.

This is why I always bring out the china, crystal, silver with antique tablecloth.  I am hoping to give them a piece of that which made wonderful memories for me as a child. Making memories is what a Grandmother does. Hopefully all good ones.

Have a good and memory making Thanksgiving,  PS: Not sure whose picture the wonderful autumn wreath on my header belongs to but I hope they do not mind my using it. Saved it from some time back.


jabreb said...

First time visiting your blog - love it. Thanks for the remembrance of how Thanksgiving used to be - I had the same upbringing and a lot of things you said stirred memories. Those days are gone for me now, but I remember the laughter of the family and the love. My Grandmother (my Daddy's Mother) was named Callie - my Dad and his family were from East Texas - Alto area.
Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving - so glad you are presenting the good china, etc. for the youngsters to hopefully remember one day.

Donna (Timeless Settings) said...

Happy Thanksgiving!