With me being all pregnant and sentimental, I started to reminisce through my Thanksgivings past.
Sadly, I have no pictures for some of them…
And frustratingly, I have pictures for others, but they are not currently with me as I write this post…
My childhood Thanksgiving memories are few…I remember sort of flashes… We lived most of my childhood in a small town in Colorado. Its so cute, right???? Its one of those terribly small and close-knit towns…it IS cute…but I couldn’t wait to get to something bigger.
It seemed like we often had company for Thanksgiving and that Turkey might have NOT have been on the menu. There always seemed to be something more exotic…like rabbit. I do always remember there always seemed to be Pistachio Salad or Ambrosia Salad. My parents are from the mid-west….no mid-west meal is complete without a pudding/cool whip or jell-o type salad!
It was always snowy.
Speaking of snowy, when you live in Colorado, Thanksgiving weekend means one thing – opening ski weekend. Once I could drive, my Thanksgivings were often spent working at a local ski area.
When I went away to College, it was far far away – to California. I think I only made it home one Thanksgiving in the four years I was in college…Let me ask you – If you could spend Thanksgiving HERE wouldn’t you?
I have a very fond memory of sunbathing in the back yard here one Thanksgiving…this was the house I shared with my first husband.
You know those Thanksgivings were the craziest I’ve ever experienced. There were usually between 15 and 20 people in attendance – the food was outrageously abundant…and after the dinner was all over, we’d sneak away to a movie while everyone else slept. Fond memories!!
Then I went through a divorce...and had a few more "single" Thanksgivings. I have these amazing friends – Jackie and Trent – who are married, but seemed to know only single people at the time…so they would have “Singles Thanksgiving” and invite us all over to their house to celebrate the holiday with other people who had no family in the area. Those were wonderful moments!!
When I got married again, my hubs wanted to live in the mountains…something I have always been reluctant to do since my Colorado days..WHY? I don’t really like snow! And in the California mountains, there tends to be a lot of it all at once...And in California, you have to put on CHAINS to drive in it…not something I was interested in. So…I reluctantly agreed as long as I never had to shovel. He thought that was a good bargain. I thought I was crazy – here I was agreeing to live in a small mountain town again!
Well…guess what? The VERY FIRST Thanksgiving, he was playing football and separated his shoulder…GUESS who shoveled the snow all that winter? The boys down the block, of course – you didn’t think I was going to do it, did you? (this is an old layout of that very first Thanksgiving…just the two of us and the dog – and his shoulder sling!
The next year, we moved off the mountain…and started having Thanksgiving with the hub’s parents…These were a far cry from the huge Thanksgiving gatherings I had been used to up to that point in my life…I have to say…they are charming, and calming and the most peaceful celebrations of Thanksgiving I remember!
We did have on year we spent with some of our friends. I mention it because I almost lost my husband that year – you see my friend T made an apple pie FROM SCRATCH…and my husband just wanted to move in with them and stay forever ! HA!
But perhaps, the most memorable of my Thanksgivings have been in recent years. You see, we moved all the way across the country the week before Thanksgiving…arrived in North Carolina the day before Thanks giving. Talk about a change! No palm trees...no 80 degree weather...and are those changing leaves I see!?!?!?!?
And you might be surprised to find that it is a “small town” tucked just outside a major city…and that it snows here! Not really enough for me to have to shovel, but enough for me to enjoy the experience. It’s another gorgeous “little town” and our lives are forever different than they were in California.
Just 11 months after our arrival, our little Bug got here…and Thanksgiving is now about building traditions with him. So far, he likes cranberries, turkey and ham…and pumpkin pie.
Thanksgivings for me have been traditional, contemporary, hot, cold, snowy, sunny, huge, small, with children, without, with turkey, without, single, married, single again, married again…whew….
So…I guess my truest Thanksgiving traditions boil down to these:
Enjoy great food
Love your family
Spend time with friends
And above all - be thankful for both trials and blessings!
Happy Thanksgiving, ya’ll!