Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Memories...

The holiday season is upon us yet again.  In a few days we will be sitting with our families devouring turkey, dressing, and pumpkin pie until we pass out.  I absolutely love this time of year!  I love the fall season and the coming weeks following Thanksgiving full of Christmas decorations and music.  It always makes me think of holidays past and memories of family gatherings.  None are Norman Rockwell worthy, however, (unless Rockwell had a comic strip I didn't know about) but beautiful just the same. 

I saw a cartoon once that read, "Thanksgiving, bringing out the best in family dysfunction since 1863."  Ha!!  That is perfect!  Does that mean I have bad memories of Thanksgiving past?  Absolutely not!  I have wonderful memories, wonderful, hilarious memories.  Growing up, Dad would always go hunting early that morning while Mom prepared dinner.  My brother and I would watch the Macy's Thanksgiving parade and stay out of the way.  That was our job.  My Dad would return around lunchtime with my grandparents and uncle to have dinner.  This was always exciting because that was the only time they came to our house.  My uncle would usually have had a little to drink before arriving so he was just a bit tipsy.  We didn't mind though because these were the times he would get on the floor with us and play and laugh at all of our never ending stories.  I thought I was hilarious when I talked with him.  Sober or not he was always kind, but when he was drinking, I became a comedian.  We would sit down to dinner and Dad would say grace, then the devouring began.  Papaw could not hear a thing which drove Mamaw insane!  "What was that?"  "HE SAID IT'S SUPPOSED TO SNOW THIS WEEKEND! He can't hear himself fart,"  she would say annoyed.  My brother and I would giggle at them because it was certainly giggle-worthy.  My uncle would giggle too which made us laugh even more.  Mamaw would continue without notice and observe my Papaw again, "Wipe your mouth."  "What?"  "WIPE YOUR MOUTH!  Good lord you are deaf."  By this time my uncle is giggling again and we are snorting cranberry sauce out of our noses.  It may sound odd to everyone else but to me, it was great.  I still laugh when I think of it.  After dinner, we would sit around and listen to the adults talk and hear the latest gossip from "back home," as my parents called it.  I never knew who was who and how they were related to me but the stories were still interesting nonetheless.  I loved to listen to Mamaw tell a tale and then laugh her big, infectious laugh.  It was a beautiful laugh that I can still hear in my mind.  Oh how I miss that lovely laugh.  Those were the days.

Time passed and so did family.  My uncle and grandparents have passed on and now it is my brother and I driving to see Granny and Papaw with our families.  The kids steal the show with their antics and funny sayings.  My brother listens to his niece and nephew's endless stories with the same interest that my uncle listened to ours (wishing he had a little to drink too I'm guessing).  I do miss the antics of my grandparent's yearly tiffs.  All couples relate differently, they had their ways that some may find strange.  Strange or not it was certainly entertaining.  Occasionally, my brother and I will share a memory at the table and begin laughing hysterically and once again snort cranberry sauce out our noses.  Mom and Dad just look at us like aliens and wonder how they brought such strange people into this world and at least there is still hope with the grandchildren.  Oh how I love Thanksgiving!

So what will I be thankful for as I sit around the family table this Thanksgiving?  Wow there is so much it is hard to list everything... But one thing is for sure, I will be thankful for family and for the beautiful dysfunction that carved such wonderful memories that are still as clear in my mind today as they were 30 years ago.  Happy Thanksgiving!  Enjoy the beautiful dysfunction!   

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