Friday, November 12, 2010

November Memories

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!


Karen Walden said...

We'll be there with bells on, looking through the Black Friday ad's while we wait for Mr Turkey to get done! :) And...I'll be looking for Persimmon pudding for dessert!

Carol said...

I SOOOOOO wish we could be there...
It's NOT anywhere close to being a real Holiday when it's just the 5 of us here, trying to make our own memories. It's especially hard living two doors down from the place SO many of those memories were made. We'll miss you, and we'll do our best to make some fun new memories of our own on my one day off. : )

Sheila said...

Karen--I'm so glad you don't have to work, & yes...there will be persimmon pudding! And that is a tradition & recipe from your Grandma Bonnie!

Carol--I hate it that you can't come!!! Your family has been a part of our new tradition for the past several years & I don't like giving it up. But I also know that your family is growing up & has schedules of their own that can't be changed. We'll miss you so much. I'll miss Garry getting up in the middle of the night to go on his Black Friday adventures too! And as far as that house 2 doors away....maybe you need to move! I bet you can't imagine living on any other street though.

The Farmer's Daughter said...

Hi Sheila, I've enjoyed reading your memories of past Novembers.

We will be in Branson again this year for Thanksgiving. We've started a new tradition the last few years of going to Branson on Wednesday, and staying at a wonderful condo until Sunday. We usually pick up a turkey dinner ordered ahead of time from one of the local grocery stores and having that. Then we usually head out to Silver Dollar City, which is so beautifully decorated for Christmas, and then we go again the next day. We'll relax, play games and eat too much! We have a lot of fun and everyone looks forward to it. Can't wait to go this year! It's just the four of us, since my children aren't currently married. I hope we can continue if that changes!

Have a good day,

Sheila said...

Cheryl...I'm jealous! : )

And girls, doesn't that sound like a wonderful idea??? We may have to make a memory in Branson or Tennessee one of these days!

Joycee said...

Sheila, what a wonderful post! Your memories could almost be a carbon copy of my memories...lots of snowy trips to Grandma's! I love your home and the table is so beautiful. I used to work in a flower shop that had bridal registry for china, crystal and silver. Fostoria was always a favorite and the American pattern is so classic. You brought back some wonderful memories for me today, Thank you!