November brings memories of family times,
from my childhood, from the years when my own children were growing up,
and to the Novembers of the last few years.
As a little girl growing up in Central Missouri,
I don't remember any fancy Thanksgiving dinners or large family gatherings.
We lived in the same little town as my maternal grandmother
with my aunts, uncles & cousins living miles away.
So, on Thanksgiving day, it would usually only be our little family and Grandma.
Dad & Steve would go hunting early in the day.
I don't remember them ever hunting for deer, so it must have been rabbit season.
Early afternoon would find us gathered around our gray Formica kitchen table,
for a delicious turkey dinner.
I remember Mom making the best dressing!
She made it from scratch, saving up bread during the week to add to the bowl.
She would use sandwich bread, biscuits, cornbread, and whatever else was handy.
Freshly chopped onion & celery were simmered in turkey broth
& seasoned with sage.
It was the best!
Mom didn't have fancy china or silverware. She just used the dishes we had for every day.
But on special occasions she would bring out her Fostoria stemware.
Later, she did have better dishes & would set a pretty table for our special dinners.
A long time ago she passed the Fostoria goblets on to me
& I sometimes use them for holidays.
The years went by.
My parents moved to Kansas when I was 17, I married when I was 18,
& moved to Indiana with Bob when I was 23.
Our children were born here & I have learned to love living here.
We drove many miles, often on treacherous, snowy roads, to be back "home" for the holidays...
sometimes it would be Thanksgiving & sometimes Christmas.
I treasure the memories of those days.
But there were also times that we spent with the grandparents here in town.
I can still see Bonnie scurrying around her kitchen, always running late,
never having dinner ready on time, but so happy to have us all under her roof.
Bonnie was also a wonderful cook & would delight in fixing our favorite dishes.
And that day was spent with Mom & Dad, brothers & sister, we "in-laws",
& the cousins...Bonnie's grandchildren.
The men would end up laughing the afternoon away in the family room,
while we ladies did the mountain of dishes in the kitchen.
Sometimes games were brought out & we would gather around the table
for a game of Masterpiece, Monopoly, or Uno!
I remember one particular Thanksgiving when we were playing Uno.
Somehow Dad had to sit between his two daughters-in-law
& we ganged up on him & had the best time giving him our
"Skip" cards, or "Draw 4".
He decided that we had put him in between on purpose!
Now it is our immediate families that get together.
And I'm trying to make the holidays times that my children & grandchildren
will look back on & remember them as good times.
My dressing isn't as good as Mom's
and my mashed potatoes will never be as creamy as Bonnie's.
Mom's pie crust were always homemade-
mine come from the freezer section.
Bonnie's cranberry relish was delicious!
Mine comes from the deli & my family doesn't notice the difference.
No one will ever bake yeast dinner rolls like my Mom.
I'm thankful that I discovered Sis. Shubert's!
When the day is over, it doesn't matter whether it was homemade
or bought at the bakery.
What matters is that we are a wonderful family
& we enjoy being together.
And I'm so anxious to make another November memory!