Oh the plans we had, pumpkin and blueberry and hot apple pie. Covered in cool whip straight out of a giant tub. We would think of mounds of mashed potatoes and a gigantic crispy skinned bird! Stuffing so moist and delicious, that we could almost taste it just thinking about it.
Thanksgiving, it was like the start of the real holiday season! The scent of the food lingered well into the next month, drifting into our dreams, leaving with it a trail of promises yet to come.
It was that one big moment, where everyone sat together around that big dining room table, where smiles and bellies were full.
Maybe this one in particular sticks out because it was his last one with us. Maybe I only remember the laughter and the sounds of voices in the room. I don't know if anything negative happened on that day, because I was so small. I do remember the smells!
The smell of his pipe tobacco mixed with the earthy scent of his faded green work shirt. The fact that my mother also smelled like sunshine and flowers even towards the end stage of autumn! The soft, warm scent of my Granny when she would hug me close.
These are fond memories, as my childhood seems to be in my faded rememberings.
Thanksgiving was always a chance to be together, forgetting all the past mistakes and fights. Giving in to the real moments we were thankful for, each other.
In the last seven years that large table has been shifted and turned, but never has it heard more laughter, seen more smiles! Opened more conversations, since.
It's not the same wood, but it has definitely built more memories and laid itself down upon the foundation of family traditions past!
So when I think of giving thanks, not just now as my favorite family holiday approaches, but everyday of my year, I think of my family!
The original five of us, six if you count our first chosen member, the mother who sacrificed and supported us through her own heartaches and tears, our Granny who cared for and loved us, Dennis the first super hero to step up to the plate. The countless borrowed and adopted brothers and sisters through the years who placed plates at our tables. To the start of the second generation, to the first spouses who came in and left a mark in the faces of our first and second and even for some of us, third born children, to the men who became the images of that pipe smoking hero of our memories.
To the 13 little faces, some who have never had the chance to sit around my table yet, that have made the table grow and the noise level increase.
Every year I look at my family, the chaos, the disorder and I know how very blessed I am! Through all the good and the bad, this family has stuck it out! It has managed, it has found strength from within. Sure we expand, bringing in the ones that fit the mold of our tribe! However, it always works!
This is what I am thankful for; the never ending love circle that resides in this family! It is like no other I have ever met in my life.
It is beautiful, loud, emotional! It is all mine!