Saturday, November 15, 2008
Thanksgiving - My Best Memories
Thanksgiving - age 5
I think the only way that I will be able to describe Thanksgiving is to relate through different segments throughout my life. Not one much for traditions, but a holiday of many memories.
I guess one could say I have always had a certain connection with Thanksgiving going back to the day I was born! I arrived at 7:30 pm on November 16th, a little unexpectively to say the least, as I have had to hear this story so often for as long as I can remember. So, as I was saying, I arrived quite unexpectively in the midst of my mother attempting to make an apple pie. Well the pie never got finished, and my mother had to dine on hospital food for her Thanksgiving (and my first). If that wasn’t enough, every year for my birthday parties, my family would put up Thanksgiving decorations, and my cake and party plates always had to have that dam Turkey staring at me! All I ever wanted was a normal cake with little flowers on it and Happy Birthday decorations. Believe it or not, I still have a set of plates from one of those parties’s. Well, not to be out done by my mother, my first child, Kelly, was a little Thanksgiving turkey! In fact, her birthday falls on Thanksgiving this year (the 27th). Trust me, she never had one little turkey decoration for her birthday parties. Her cakes always had to have little pink roses her favorite, which she carried through right down to her wedding day with pink roses on her wedding cake.
My 10th Birthday - notice the Turkey decoration in the background -I am the one standing with my back to the camera in the green dress!
Our family being rather small and since we lived with our grandparents; there was never any “Over the River to Grandmother’s House” for us. As I look back though, our Thanksgiving’s always started with getting that turkey in the oven first thing in the morning, since it always seems like an eternity cooking one of them. So as my grandmother and mother were busy preparing everything in the kitchen, my sister and I would be glued to the television, watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Which, as everyone knows, at the very end Santa would appear (and still does) and at that very second you knew it was officially the Christmas season. The most vivid recollection is that of the dining table before we ate. The table settings could have been a Thanksgiving dinner right out of “Victoria” magazine. It is always the delight of setting the table with my grandmother’s “Blue Jasper Wedgewood” dishes (of which she had ever piece imaginable), then the Sterling Silver place settings, which was originally given to my Great-grandmother on her wedding day; and of course the Waterford Crystal goblets. To make the picture complete, was the center of the table, which was always bedecked with a beautiful floral arrangement that my grandmother would order from our florist. Thankfully, a lot of these traditions and memories are still a part of our Thanksgiving now; as when my grandmother passed, her Wedgewood China, her mother’s silver, and the Waterford, were all passed on to my sister and I. Things I will always cherish!
I think though, (and my cousins will all agree) that the best Thanksgiving’s we celebrated were when we would all go out to dinner together. Not too far from our house was a restaurant called, The White Turkey! And most appropriately they mainly served turkey. My 3 cousins, my sister and I, (4 girls and 1 boy, all ranging in ages from 5-10, which meant there was only a year between each of us), dressing in our finest of velvet dresses, oh yes, and our grandparents would enjoy our Thanksgiving dinners there for a few years. I think what we enjoyed most, a memory we still talk about when we get together with our cousins, was the fact that we felt like adults, eating in this very exclusive restaurant. Unfortunately, as with most families, we have all grown up, and are living in different states with our own families; so it is up to my children (who are now all adults) to reminisce on our own traditions. Sorry to say, you will all have to wait until next Thanksgiving to hear the classic story’s of the Baker’s holiday traditions; or you will be reading my stories until Thanksgiving Day!