Although I enjoy the Thanksgiving layout of yummy heavy foods and delicious desserts, I have very few memories of the holiday. In fact my brain can't recollect any Thanksgiving dinners before 11 years old when my Mom and I had our first turkey dinner at our little apartment in Palo Alto and invited the ex-wife and daughter of the man my Mom would eventually fall in-love with and marry (it's a complicated story in a complicated world.) We got up early to watch the Macy*s Day Parade and start on the turkey, mashed potatos, green beans, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. I drank glass after glass of eggnog with sprinkled cinnamon on top during the food preparation so by the time dinner rolled around, my stomach wasn't willing to welcome much else.
All year we had been writing down that whivh we were grateful for onto scraps of paper that we would then stick into a box. This linen covered box of thankful thoughts sat atop our refridgerator all year decorated with puff painted drawings of turkeys. Before the arrival of company, my Mom and I read aloud the blessings of the year. We had an entire box of happenings we deemed blessings--no need to subject our guests to all those scraps that may have seemed trivial but we saw as substantial. This "tradition" only lasted 2 or 3 years, but it taught me to recognize and treasure both the big and small sources of my joy.
I know company came and dinner was squeezed onto a tilting card table, but the actual dinner experience still escapes me...just like all the other Thanksgivings. However, the preparation of that dinner with my Mom and the Thanksgiving box stays with me--the journey to the big event of dinner. Have a Happy Thaksgiving!