Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Thanksgiving Memory Tree

I have decided that all holidays are like Christmas trees. These “holiday trees” exist only in your mind and are adorned not with decorations but with memories. For example, tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day and as it approaches I am remembering all the Thanksgiving days that have come before this one. I remember my childhood Thanksgivings when all my cousins (all 17 of us) gathered in Grandpa’s two bedroom home. I’m not sure how the adults decided who got the one spare bedroom but us kids all slept on the floor in the front room. I loved being near the widow seat and can still hear the giggling and whispered chatter that went on well into the wee morning hours.

Another ornament on my memory tree is the memory of Thanksgiving at my aunt’s small apartment when the roasted but un-carved turkey was placed on the table and to this day I swear it stood up and gobbled at me. (That’s why I’m a vegetarian!) I can remember Thanksgivings at my own home where my uncle teased me about having knot knees like my mom. I can remember going to my great aunt’s house after our own dinner to join in the Anderson celebration. I loved that because they always brought out the homemade root beer they were famous for making. The bubbles tickled my nose and if I concentrate very hard I can almost taste the rich yeastiness of the homemade brew even now.

In short, holidays give us a marker to hang memories on and tomorrow I will add another “ornament” to my Thanksgiving tree. I’m going to make it a good one and I hope your new Thanksgiving ornament will be a beautiful one, too!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this post because you paint such great pictures with your words. I also think it is wonderful how memories come to us. When we had Thanksgiving dinner this year, we had steamed whole baby carrots. For some reason, every time I bit into one, the smell of my grandmother's house would come into my mind. She passed away when I was 12, so it has been decades since I was there, but the carrots triggering the smell of her house ended up being a feast better than the food I was eating. The beautiful memories of holidays with family throughout all these years left me feeling such a sense of eternal family, and what it means to me. I hope I never forget this experience, or the important principles it reminded me of.