Thanksgiving has always been my least favorite holiday. This sounds almost un-American, don't you think?
When I was young, my maternal family all gathered at my great-grandma Smith's house on the south side of Scranton, Iowa. It was a huge house and held many, many relatives. In attendance were usually three of Estella Smith's daughters and usually a daughter-in-law. Usually there were about 6-10 adult grandchildren of Stella, depending on the years. Then, there were the little kids. My first cousins, my second cousins, and me. Little kids ate in the kitchen. The adults ate in the dining room. The menu was the usual Thanksgiving feast. Turkey ( I hated Turkey), mashed potatoes and gravy( I hated mashed potatoes and gravy), cranberries (who likes cranberries). So you get the idea. I did, however, like rolls, carrot sticks, and pumpkin pie. So, on my plate at Grandma's round table in the kitchen would be a roll (no butter) and a carrot stick. I would notice as I was politely waiting for the pumpkin pie that a couple of my great-aunts ( I won't name them) were whispering about me. Something not too nice. This tainted Thanksgiving for me. It went on for years or maybe it only happened once but it scarred me. And I never liked Thanksgiving because of it.
One year right after our first child was born, we didn't come home for Thanksgiving from South Dakota. By now, the maternal head of the family had passed, but my mom's side of the family still gathered. Since we were not in attendance, we had pizza at our house. It was wonderful. What a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving.
One of my favorite Thanksgivings was when my husband was stationed at Fort Rucker, Alabama. He was attending helicopter flight school. We joined a couple of other families and dined together at the Officer's Club. The display area of the dining area was a cornucopia with bushels of vegetables and food items spilling out. It was very impressive. Then, we got to order from the menu. Three main meats were featured including prime rib. Now, this Thanksgiving was starting to shape up. However, when I gave my order to the wait staff, our friend sitting to my right, started to harass me. His words were something like, "What! You are not eating turkey. Not eating turkey is actually un-American. I can not believe you!" Well, needless to say I tried to explain my reasons which had been ingrained in me from those unhappy dinners at my great grandmother's kitchen table. He turned away and did not converse with me until dinner arrived. The waitress set my prime rib in front of me, and then set Dan's dinner in front of him. Guess what! Dan was having prime rib too. He had certainly set me up for a good joke.
Thanksgivings are now a fun time. We spend the day with our two kids, their spouses, five grandkids, and sometimes a few other relatives or friends that join us.
Thanksgiving is also special this year because we will be celebrating our 49th wedding anniversary on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2015.
I guess I like Thanksgiving after all.