Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving - Then and Now

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, whatever happened to 'Over the river and through the woods?"

I remember sitting in the back seat of my parent's car driving to Grandma and Grandpa's house on Thanksgiving Day. It was not a long drive, maybe 15 minutes but the anticipation was great. I remember singing the song in my head wondering how long it would take to get there in a carriage and how would the horse know the way?

Grandma made the best dinners and I always looked forward to them. Plus I would get to see Perry and Eddie (Aunt Mabel's sons) and Butch and Cathy (Uncle Newt's children). I was the youngest but they did not seem to care. Sure Eddie pulled my ringlets one year and Butch teased me but since I was an only child it was great to be part of the extended Pahlke family.

All the adults and children were in their Sunday best - shirts and ties for the men (old and young) and dresses or suits for the women/young ladies.

There would be a bar set up and Uncle Sandy would be making cocktails for the grownups. We would take out the Chinese Checkers and all five cousins would play. I learned quickly that being the youngest did not mean I would get any special treatment.

Finally it would be time to eat. There was a grownups table and a children's table. Sometimes there would be additional people there to share our meal and they would usually eat at our table.

It was a very traditional Thanksgiving meal and I always ate more than I should. There was one dish I never tried... Mince meat pie. I never understood what a mince was and had never heard of that type of animal so I stuck with pumpkin pie!

It is important to remember and record our family traditions. I have many pictures of Thanksgivings and Christmases at Grandmas and I treasure them and the memories. My cousins will always be young in my memories,Grandma will always have that twinkle in her eye and my dad will be napping on her couch after dinner.

Now that I have my own family what is our family tradition? I am hosting "Turkey and Texas Hold'em" for our family and friends on Saturday! Not quite my grandmother's Thanksgiving.

BTW - my sister Mary was born when I was nine years old. She and I both consider ourselves 'only children'. Mary's traditional Thanksgiving dinner is pizza. Her husband Tony is an expert at creating incredible pizzas.

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