The woman we called Grandmother in my family was actually my mother-in-law, who took me under her wing as her daughter when I married her son. I was but a child of 16 and thought I was so grown up, and even though I felt grown up I still needed the guidance of a mother. I always called her mom, unless I was in the presence of my children, and then I would call her grandmother. Soon the name grandmother was all we called her as we had more children.
Never in a million years could I ever measure up to grandmother. She was an angel here on earth. You never heard a mean word come out of her mouth. She never talked about anyone unless it was to praise them. She was a Christian woman who read her bible daily and very seldom missed church. She was loved and admired by all who met her. She would greet the mailman on hot days with a cold glass of iced tea or lemonade and feed you if you happen to be passing and were hungry. Everyone…strangers included…were welcomed into her home and treated like family…that’s just the way she was, and boy could she cook. She could whip up a delicious meal in no time at all. Grandmother is gone now, but her memory will always be with us.
Our Thanksgiving gathering gets better year after year, and I don’t know why I work myself into such a panic getting the last minute things done. I woke up early and put the second turkey into the oven…the first one was baked the day before and neatly cut up into slices of white & dark meat. The second turkey was to adorn our table and also to provide more turkey legs to those who like turkey legs. Sometimes the legs mysteriously disappear the night before, and Suzanne & Jimmy are usually the culprits, but this year everything went without a hitch except for one missing wing, but nobody even noticed. And Peanut, I won’t tell anyone that you’re the one who ate it…it’ll be our little secret.
As it turned out there was no need for me to panic…I didn’t burn anything, the turkey was thoroughly cooked and I remembered to put all the food out on the tables. Have you ever forgotten a dish and found it after every guest was gone? I’ll admit I’ve been guilty of that, but not this year. There was enough food to feed a small army, because you just never know with grandchildren if they are going to bring guests with them. And they know from experience that any guests they bring will always be welcomed.
On Thanksgiving day the family all gathered round and after giving thanks for our bounty we all sat down to feast and to visit. We sat in every room in the house…on beds with TV trays, on foot stools…just everywhere we could find a spot except of course in the bathrooms. We live in a very small modest house, nothing fancy but…it is home-ee. If the weather would have permitted we could have at least spread out into the picnic tables out in the yard, but that day it turned much too cold to be out. Everyone brought their camera’s and at times it seemed like I was in the midst of strobe lights flashing all around me. Although I had charged my camera up the night before, I didn’t take a single picture. I figured that for once I would visit, camera free and ask for copies of their pictures…my camera isn’t working very well any way and I’ve asked Santa for a new one, but he answered me already and said that I have to be nicer and that I better do it by Christmas or I won’t be getting one.
Our dinner was at noon and as 4:30 p.m. approached some guests had to leave for other holiday commitments, and some stayed. Megan & Zac came late and I was very happy they were able to come. And to my surprise about 2 hours later some of the other grandchildren started coming back and stayed until around 10 p.m. I guess they came back for dessert, but for whatever reason they came back, it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside that they even bothered to come back. No board games were played…we just talked, laughed and shared stories. It was like a ‘show n tell’ and I felt very fortunate to be included among this young adult crowd of 18-21 year olds. They shared their ideas, hopes and dreams as well as their disappointments with us (Suzanne, Sharon, Jimmy & I). Sometimes I’d find myself just staring at them and feeling so proud of the young adults they’ve become. I also found myself wishing that my oldest grandson Doug and his wife would have also been able to come back and share in the fun, but they had to travel 140 miles after they left here to see their other grandma and then come back to report to work that evening at 10 pm…I don’t see how they managed to do it, but they did.
Since the grandchildren now have apartments of their own, they all took leftovers with them…even some of their parents fixed themselves a plate to take home. Matt said he just needed something for lunch the next day at work and by the time he picked out everything he wanted to take we had to pack all the bowls and containers in a large white garbage bag. He works a 24 hour shift and lunch apparently takes up a lot of their time, hehehe, I hope he doesn’t read that. Or maybe he was planning on sharing his lunch with his fellow firefighters. I heard through the grapevine yesterday morning that Matt had already eaten the pumpkin pie by 10 a.m…he loves pumpkin pie.
It was during the gathering up of the leftovers to send home with the grandchildren that I had a “grandmother moment.” A fleeting memory, a warm, happy & proud feeling of what I was seeing before me…and a feeling that I had once again gone full circle…and I knew right then that it must have been exactly how she must have felt each time she lovingly packed up leftover Sunday dinners for us to take home. I remember it so well as she packed everything with such care, so it wouldn’t spill on the way home. Sometimes we’d get into it before we even left the street where she lived. We felt like we had run away with the prize…the good food that tasted so well, better than anything you could make yourself. There simply was no one who could cook like grandmother, and some of the leftovers that I lovingly packed for my own grandchildren were made using her very own recipes.Although our table was missing some of the grandchildren, they were not far from our thoughts and our prayers. Brandon, Scott’s son is still in
Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who are still feasting it up!