By the Golden Crone, 11/22/21
Remember when we all crammed together at Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving dinner? Kids sat at one table, adults at another and we just hashed it out over turkey and two liters?
My favorite day of the entire year was Thanksgiving. I had more cousins than I could count, and a lot of them lived Far Away, so Thanksgiving was the only day I got to see everyone.
Grandma’s house was always hot. They had a wood stove and Gramma had something on every burner, a Turkey in the oven, and a counter full of crockpots on high. My Grandparents had five children and a small house. When the family reunited we pretty much spilled out the doors!
In the 1980s it was still ok to shove the kids outside and hope for the best, and that’s what they did. We played ball or dug snow tunnels while the ladies kept up the dishes and fussed over dinner. The men napped and watched football and caught up on family happenings.
When we were called in, socks soaking in our Moon Boots, the windows were steamed and the adults were just as red cheeked and giggly as the children.
Over the fifteen years that I recall dinner at Gramma’s I can’t remember a single argument. My people are an opinionated bunch. As children they fought one another with just about any weapon they could get a hand on. Their combative nature hasn’t faded in seventy years…
I am sure every adult complained. It took a lot of constraint for them to travel and spend the day together in a small, stuffy house where their outside accomplishments had no bearing on the pecking order.
Eventually dinner at Gramma’s wore out. Growing families made travel difficult. Sibling rivalries created silence where laughter had been, and we all had dinner at home and Gramma visited.
I wish it hadn’t happened that way. Thanksgiving at Gramma’s was good for our souls. It kept things in perspective and taught us to find common ground. When we stopped trying it all fell apart.
This year I’m trying. I will put my grudges aside ( I’m throwing those out anyway) and I will meet people with an open heart. We don’t have to focus on our disagreements. If we are upright and at ‘em we have a lot to be thankful for.
Let’s see if we can all find a little laughter to fill the silence.