I got a text from my youngest brother today. He said he was thinking about Thanksgiving Days of the past. To tell you the truth, so was I.
We were both remembering the many times we would gather at our grandparents’ house. We did so every year, until our grandmother had a stroke that left her unable to speak, and paralysed on her right side. She spent the remaining eleven years of her life in a nursing home. Our grandfather would faithfully make the thirty minute trip to sit by her side every day without fail, except one or two times due to bad weather that left the roads unsafe to travel.
My earliest memories of visiting my grandparents’ homes were when my paternal grandmother was still alive. We would gather at her house and rake and burn the leaves from the half dozen or so trees in her yard. Afterwards, we would have a family meal. Sometimes there were other families involved; aunts, uncles, and cousins. Other times, just my family.
The Friday after Thanksgiving we would make the ten minute drive to the home of my maternal grandparents. My grandfather was a farmer, his main crop being tobacco. He worked at tobacco warehouses during my growing-up years. He would spend the day at the warehouse, all the while leaving my grandmother and mother cooking for the Thanksgiving meal we would later partake of after my grandfather returned home from working.
My dad, brothers, and uncle would walk the forty plus acre farm, during this time, carrying their guns in hopes of spotting a rabbit. Some call it hunting, but they did very little shooting, even if they did happen to catch a glimpse of one. If I was really bored I would walk with them. That didn’t happen but once or twice.
My grandmother would have the traditional Thanksgiving fare, including a few regional favorites. She always made sure to cook each grandchild’s favorite dish. She was indeed a good cook, and a very special lady.
I have very fond memories of those times we gathered around her long dining room table. I remember the conversations, and how they were more interesting the older I became, when in actuality the conversations never changed much.
I miss my grandparents and all family members who have left this world…never more than during the holiday season.
Wishing you fond memories of Thanksgivings past, and joy and laughter shared with family and friends this year.
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