this thursday marks the seventh Thanksgiving that the boy and i will spend together. Thanksgiving is the boy's favorite holiday, and we whoop it up right. to get inspired (not that we need much more inspiration since our minds are going a mile a minute), we spend full evenings discussing menu options and watching all the Thanksgiving-related shows on OnDemand. we get ridiculous about the planning. i wouldn't want it any other way.
while falling asleep last night, i thought about all my Thanksgivings past; and even though the majority were good, the ones that are the most memorable are the ones where things weren't perfect. for instance, the Thanksgiving when i was 16 and living in France. my mom was visiting relatives in the States and it was just going to be my dad and I for dinner. i was a bit down because i knew we wouldn't have a traditional Thanksgiving meal, but my dad told me not to worry! he had a Master Plan, and he would provide an honest-to-goodness Real Thanksgiving Dinner for me when i got home from school. i was a bit skeptical. for one, November isn't the time for turkeys in France; maybe times have changed in the last twenty years, but back then you couldn't find a turkey for at least another month. and cranberries? not to be found. not indigenous to those parts. so i got home to find my dad with a big grin on his face, all pleased with himself. i sat down to dinner. and on my plate was a cornish hen with mashed potatoes and groseilles en gelée. i'm sure the look on my face spoke volumes, so my dad said, "Just pretend it's turkey!".
man, what a snot-nosed brat i was.
then there's thanksgiving 1988, when i was attending the University of Florida. i hitched a ride with some friends to Miami, so that i could spend Thanksgiving with my American grandmother. a lot of my dad's relatives would be there, and my parents showed up as well. that Thanksgiving is memorable because i vividly remember my mom and my grandmother arguing over the stuffing. my grandmother wanted pecan and cornbread stuffing, while my mother wanted to "class it up" with chestnut and oysters. this escalated into a huge argument, ending with them not speaking to each other for the rest of the weekend. i don't remember who won (i think we ended up with both dressings), but i'll always remember my grandmother's determination, "You just can't put chestnuts in the stuffing! not in my house! that's just not right!"
there were some Thanksgivings in my early 20s which were memorable but in a different way, and frankly i'd prefer not to remember those. those are best left in the dark of my brain, never to be revisited.
and last year, well. you can read about that here . i sincerely hope that the power doesn't go out this year!
this year, it'll be just three of us. usually we feast in the late afternoon, and by then J will be there after spending the first part of the day with his own family. the boy and i have extended invites to all kinds of people, but everyone we know here in Atlanta already have plans or family to go to. so it'll be the three of us for dinner, with Mr & Mrs B showing up for dessert and some grazing in the kitchen. last year they came over in the early evening and Mrs B and i stood at the stove, grazing on the leftovers of the 22 lb turkey. this year, even though we're such a small crowd, we're having not one but TWO turkeys; one brined and roasted, and the other brined and deep fried. i know it is excessive, but we do feast on leftovers for days quite happily, and the boy always makes turkey noodle soup. i feel guilty, in a way, that we're able to splurge monetarily and gastronomically regarding this holiday. i know a lot of people don't have the good fortune that the boy and i have, and i am truly thankful that we are able to do this.
here's to all of you out there, wishing you good memories and full bellies this Thanksgiving. please remember the things you are thankful for, people long gone, and call the people you love who can't be with you.
me, i'm going to call my Dad and thank him for all the trouble he went through in 1985 to ensure that we'd have a nice family meal together.