My love of Thanksgiving came early in my life. We read stories in school and dressed up like pilgrims and Native Americans, made finger-turkeys and read about the Mayflower and the traumas of crossing the Atlantic during the long winter voyage and marveled at the religious convictions of the pilgrims moving to a new unsettled continent.
My brothers and I salivated at the thought of roasted turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, and freshly homemade pumpkin pies that we would carry across Emmett Valley’s Freezeout Hill to Boise for a traditional family dinner with grandparents. Inevitably, the roads were icy, and we slipped and slid up the curvy hill in our Studebaker with our father swearing the entire trip.
My love of the holiday grew as I celebrated our first Thanksgiving with my new husband’s family in Connecticut. They added a high school football game to the food and fun, and we downed quite a few amber colored liquids that were hidden in rather large purses while watching the game between Norwich and New London, a rivalry since 1869. Dinner was late and relatives arrived from all over New England until late into the night with active conversations (a euphemism for loud arguments) on politics and religion.
The tradition of Thanksgiving became real when I learned that Robert Cushman gave the first Thanksgiving sermon in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The holiday became a source of pride, knowing I had married real roots to Plymouth Rock and recognized the stories of my childhood.
And, as if challenging even the best holiday to be better, it upped its game when our daughter was born the day after Thanksgiving. Tom was in Vietnam, but the Red Cross magically found him and sent him a message. The telegram appeared three days after her birth, but at least he got it and was able to celebrate with his brother at the officer’s club.
Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks, and we have much to be thankful for, a stable country, safe and friendly communities, and freedoms galore. My life has changed this year, with Covid and Tom’s passing, but I am thankful for what I have which is more than any average person could hope for. Happy Thanksgiving and best wishes for a lovely day.
Please mask up…let’s get rid of the C-Virus so we can share Thanksgiving with our loved ones next year!
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