My debut book, My Angel of Angels was based on a relationship between a man and a woman. And I was bestowed the honor of being asked to write a blog on how a man should treat a woman in a romantic relationship.
This week we are celebrating our Day of Thanks. And that means, for the most of us, being around those who mean the most to us, our family.
As I was growing up, that meant driving through the snowfall of Western New York. (that would be close to Buffalo N.Y.), going to Gramma’s house and bringing her to our house. Complete with her brother Henry and her sister-in-law, Helen, who love to die her hair a soft shade of blue.
There was a house full of kids having a grand old time as Gramma taught us how to sing Silent Night in German. Henry would sing along as Helen wondered what was going on. The fire crackling in the fireplace and the aroma of a delicious turkey dinner wafting from the kitchen. Mom and Dad both in charge of the oven. Turned out, Dad was a better cook than Mom with a lot of dishes. So, Mom was more than happy to listen to Dad about how or when to baste the turkey. Actually, she did really well with the veggies and potatoes and the rest of the sides. And there were a ton of that. Dad’s strong card was the meat department. But, boy, could he rustle up a bowl of corn that tasted like it was still on the cob!
After Grace and the carving of the bird very little was said. A lot of munching and gulping. Every now and then you heard a: “Great job, Mom.” or “Delicious bean casserole, Kay.” (Kay was Mom.) But you could always tell when people were coming up on having enough. Forks slowed and the conversation started to pick up.
Dad would suggest that we take a break for a while, but that never lasted more than fifteen minutes before Mom would ask who wanted Apple or Pumpkin Pie. Helen would, without fail ask for “a little slice of both, please? Just make them half slices, if you could.” Mom never failed to please the little bittie. Ice cream on the apple, whipped topping on the pumpkin. “Oh, thank you so much Catherine.” she’d say.
After the dessert was accomplished, we’d all sit back and hold our bellies and talk about how wonderful dinner was. Mother taking in all the compliments as graciously as anyone could. Then Dad would look at the adults after a bit and ask; “Who’s for an after dinner drink?” The after dinner drink was usually green Creme de Minthe on the rocks. And when we children got to be old enough, we took part along with the previous generations. Oh, how nice that was.
The after dinner drinks took a good thirty minutes to enjoy. The conversation would go on to politics and other topics. The children sat right there in their seats listening trying to learn a thing or two. But as tradition held in my family, you’d be next to being disowned if you didn’t start picking at the dinner again and nibble at the soon to be leftovers and top off the Creme de Minthe.
I have never witnessed anything like that in any other family I have had a Thanksgiving Dinner with. And it is the one thing I miss the most every year when I don’t have that traditional meal with them. It’s just not the same without the second round and Creme de Minthe. Well, that, and the relationship I have with my family.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Love and enjoy your family.