I remember hosting Thanksgiving for the first time by myself, surrounded by friends. We were enthusiastic, yet unable to reach consensus when it came to how to prepare and cook the turkey. At an impasse, we each dialed our own mothers for advice.
One friend called 1-800-Butterball.
We listened. We learned. We shared. And then we began to cook.
I don’t remember exactly which recipe we followed, but I do remember the turkey came out perfect.
Today I give thanks to all of the moms who informed that meal ten years ago.
My mother hosted many Thanksgiving dinners. Some of them were rather boisterous affairs. For several years, after the last pies and whipped cream were enjoyed, folks cleared away the tables and the extra folding chairs. Men and women began to dance.
More wine was poured.
Kids joined in, if willing. We twirled and spun in our small living room on the hard wood floors.
I’m not sure what time I went to bed those nights. I’m definitely not sure what time my parents went to bed.
Other years the Thanksgiving party was less of a disco and more of an evening spent in conversation. The dialogue was always rich, and filled with passion. Neighbors and friends stopped in, before, during and after we dined. People were always hugging and laughing. Sometimes my father spoke Spanish, and my ears sparkled as I tried to understand. I broke the secret code at some point – I can’t remember when – and his language became closer to my own.
Today I gathered with close friends at a home across town. We broke bread, shared a meal, and attempted to talk while our six children ages one to five did the same. I asked (made) everyone say what they were thankful for before the meal. Here are some of the responses:
“Friends, family, support and love”
“A stable job in these incredibly challenging and stressful economic times”
“A gracious host, an invitation to share this meal in their home”
“Having our family together… a loved one with whom we haven’t shared the Thanksgiving meal in many years”
Giving thanks, I conclude this post. Happy Thanksgiving.
This post was written in response to a prompt by Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop (http://www.mamakatslosinit.com/).