Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Memories

For me, holidays always conjure up memories of years past. I remember myself as a young girl, watching my mom, aunt, and grandma, cooking and laughing in the kitchen. My grandma would grab me as I walked past, and squeeze me to her, saying, "There's my beautiful doll! Give your grandma a kiss!" I would kiss her quickly, then struggle out of her strong grasp, but I loved it.

When I got a bit older, I remember playing pool with my cousins, and trying to beat my grandpa at a game of ping pong. He was hard to beat, and he never let anyone win, so I had to work hard for every point. I remember how good it would make me feel, even when I lost, when he would say, "You played a good game, Jenny".

I remember how I used to complain about having to sit at "the kid table", even though I was a teenager. My cousins and I would laugh and tell each other stories, but I was interested in the conversations going on at "the big table".

We would eat turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls, green beans, jello, and applesauce. Sometimes, my mom would bring something out halfway through the meal, saying, "I forgot to put this out", and we would all groan, and grab our bellies which were straining against our pants. Someone would always say, "I don't think I can eat another bite", but then in just a few hours, mom would be bringing out pie, ice cream, pretzels, and drinks.

I remember playing games after dinner. Sometimes we would play Family Feud, other times, Pictionary. Regardless of what we played, there was lots of noise, and laughter. My grandma was always yelling out answers when she wasn't supposed to, and then she would grin, and say, "Oh, well, I was just helping".

I remember my grandparents, always sitting next to each other, my grandfather's hand frequently resting on her shoulder. She would often turn to him, in the middle of a story, to ask, "Right, Ken?" I remember thinking to myself that someday I wanted someone to love me that much.

I remember when Thanksgiving day would come to an end, and my family would put on their coats, and the goodbyes would begin. The goodbye portion of the evening always lasted a long time. There were lots of hugs, and kisses, and last minute words of advice, and "I Love You"'s shouted out the door all the way to the car. I remember the glow of happiness that lasted after they were gone, and my parents and I would rehash the days events.

Things are different now. Not better, not worse, just different. Even though, I often think of how things were at the holidays, I am thankful for all those wonderful times and the memories that go with them. More than that, I am thankful for what I have now. I am thankful for the new memories I am making for myself, and for Dylan. I am thankful for everything that I have and for everything that I had. It was a very happy Thanksgiving.


Nicole said...

What a great post... great memories to recall!

Kellan said...

It is nice to have all of those memories to lean on and nice to be making new, wonderful ones too! Glad you had a good Thanksgiving, Jen! Take care - Kellan

JCK said...

Jen, this was beautiful! So glad you have these wonderful memories and are making new ones, too. Your grandparents sounded very special.

Fishsticks and Fireflies said...

"Not better, not worse, just different." I honestly think that is one of the hardest things about growing up and having a family of your own - and don't get me wrong, I love starting traditions of our own and celebrating in our own special way, but I do miss the past. Happy holidays to you, Jim, and Dylan - I am thankful for you all and for the love and friendship that you have given me and my family.

Jonny's Mommy said...

This is how it is...just different. We used to have these huge family gatherings for my grandparents are gone, my aunt is sick with cancer and other isn't the same at all, but new traditions are being created. I hope we can continue them for my little guy too. Love the great background and the new photo of Dylan. Dang that kid is adorable.