Memory is a way of holding onto
the things you love, the things you are,
the things you never want to lose.
-- Kevin Arnold (From The Wonder Years)
My memories of Thanksgiving are pretty much the same for each year. My mother was not someone who experimented with things. She liked it to be the same, year after year. So, Thanksgiving for us was getting up in the morning to help pull apart the bread for the stuffing. It was dressing up and saying grace. It was having turkey and stuffing and putting as much into the bird as she could make fit. It was making cranberries and sweet potatoes. (I never did like those as a child). It was biscuits and gravy and wine around the table.
I still remember my first taste of wine and how it was bitter to my taste buds. I think I was 11 that year. My brother and I gave our glasses to my sister because she was the only one that liked it. I think my step-father bought it in a jug!
We would smell the cooking all day and could hardly wait to have the first taste. I always liked the dark meat because it was juicier to me. I loved the mashed potatoes too. They were real and not from a box.
Thanksgiving was a day of family. I don't really remember going over to anyone else's house, but I do remember people coming over to ours. I remember the way a turkey smells when it is cooking and the way the cranberry sauce simmers. I remember the loud whoosh the oven makes when I learned to light it with a match under the pilot. It used to scare me and my mom used to laugh. I remember that she always seemed happy for thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving for me is not full of bad memories. It is full of smells and noises and laughter and good tastes. Still today, I make gravy like my mother did and I make stuffing and my own cranberries. I have even learned to make sweet potatoes in a way that we like. When ever I see them, I remember mom eating them and loving them.
I love memories of the holidays. Even though there were some not so good times in there, the memories and clean and happy. It is a season of the year that I really enjoy. It is a time we labor for those whom we love the most. Hopefully providing them with memories that they will have when they are older.
Those things I never want to forget.