Yay for guest posts!! If you don't remember, I'm hosting one guest each month to write a post for the blog!! Our second guest post comes from one of my best friends, Robin!! Robin started out as my mom's friend (as did one of my/our other best friends!) and then my mom so graciously shared Robin with me!! Robin is one of the sweetest, most kind people I know!! She always puts others first and is really good at surprises (: Robin makes the best deviled eggs in the whole world, she's adventurous and even came to visit me in Texas earlier this year!! Robin considers herself the "innocent one" in our little group, and may or may not own a broom that isn't for sweeping (more like riding through the night sky. Possibly while wearing a black pointy hat...) (; Robin, thank you for being the second guest on Letters From a Good Friend!! I love ya!
Thanksgiving, As Told By Robin
Happy Thanksgiving folks,
My name is Robin and I am 50 something married mother of 2 wonderful children and the grand mother of 2 beautiful grandsons. I am blessed beyond belief and thankful for every day that I am here to be a part of their lives. I hope today as you read this you will remember what you have to be thankful for also.
WOOHOO!!! It’s here; FALL, officially my favorite time of the year. The days get shorter, and the air turns crisp. The scenery is spectacular. It seems each and every leaf is individually painted with red, yellow and orange .This season creates a sense of comfort, warmth, and reflection.
It is no wonder this time of year takes me back to my childhood.
Back to school, football games, and of course the beginning of the holiday season. What kid doesn’t love that? My favorite holiday by far is Thanksgiving. As a child, my family would load up early in the morning on Thanksgiving Day and make the hour long trip to grandmas. My mom was one of 6 children so by the time you gathered all 6 children, their spouses, their children, a few extended family members, and assorted friends it was a houseful.
My grandmother was a wonderful cook. She would start preparing Thanksgiving dinner days before the actual event. EVERYTHING was made from scratch. There would be bread laid out to dry for stuffing, pie crusts being made, rolls rising, and a table full of beautiful golden noodles laying on a fine dusting of flour, each cut exactly as the one before. And the heavenly aroma of the roasting turkey lingering through the air. It seems to me the sense of smell; more than sight, hearing, or even taste is where we store some of our most cherished memories. Grandma would put the turkey on low the night before. She had a giant roaster, I actually only remember seeing on the holidays. Now that I think about I wonder where it was the rest of the year. It was a huge thing that could cook a turkey the size of a cloths basket. Let me see if I can Google…
All the women stayed in the kitchen. Although it was cramped I only remember it being warm and fun, and the only place I wanted to be. The men stayed in the living room and watched football. We could hear them yelling at the TV like it could hear them, We secretly laughed at them as it sometimes got very intense if some were not rooting for the same team. When it was time, my grandpa was summand. It was his job to lift the enormous bird out of the roaster. He would put it on a platter that was no smaller than a trash can lid. He would stand proudly staring at it before he began. It was really a sight to see. He used that carving knife like it was an extension of his arm. It took but minuets.
The food was all laid on 2 huge tables, and was served buffet style. There was anything and everything a body could want. Turkey, stuffing, bowls and bowls of mashed potatoes and gravy, chicken and noodles, and any kind of side dish you could ever imagine. Some of which only made an appearance on the holidays. My personal favorite was my grandmas cranberry salad. Not that purple, round, jiggley stuff that comes out of a can, this is real cranberry salad. DELICIOUS (I always got a “special” bowl to take home.) I am going to share her recipe with you. It deserves to be shared. This will change the mind of anyone that thinks they don’t like cranberries.
At 1:00 PM., PROMPTLY… dinner time was announced. We had different ways of doing things in my family. You know how the moms “get the kids first”? In my family the oldest person ALWAYS went first. Then we all found an empty seat at the big table or one of the random card tables that were scattered about. And, even though I don’t remember my grandparents being devoutly religious, on this day my grandpa gave thanks. Thanks for the feast in front of us and thanks for his family. Dinner time was filled with joking, laughter and stories that made you wish you were there.
After dinner the “MEN” cleared the dishes (mind you I didn’t say washed the dishes I said cleared the dishes) from there they went back to what they called “watching” football; other wise known as napping. (There was no yelling at the TV after dinner.)
For the women…. LOOKOUT….. That’s when the cards games and the fun began. No card game was off limits. The deal went around the table and when it got to be your turn you chose the game you wanted to play. From old maid to poker, and anything in between. The house sang with laughter.
After football was over, (or they woke up) the men returned the kitchen and the desserts were served. I’m telling you the pies my grandma put out were nothing less than amazing. Chocolate, apple, pecan, pumpkin and sweet potato (I got a special piece of that to take home too).
But my favorite dessert was Ozark Pudding. OMG it was heaven. I’m going to share this recipe with you also; once again, it deserves to be shared. This is actually in my grandma’s handwriting. She has been gone for many years, but with me, and hopefully my children, this recipe will stay around a long time.
Thanksgiving lasted all day and well into the evening when I was young. When you are a kid you never think about things being any different than they are at that moment……
I suppose we all have our little secret things we regret; one of mine is that my own children won’t have these kinds of memories.
It is through no fault of any one person. Things are just different now. Things are busier now. It is an irony in our modern lives that while technology saves us time , we use that time to do more and more things that, in turn, make our lives more hectic than ever. We feel incomplete if we are not in some way connected to social media, texts, emails, instagram, twitter; the list goes on and on…. Now, the Honeybaked store roasts our turkey, Bob Evans makes our mashed potatoes, Swanson makes our gravy, Stove Top makes the stuffing and Reams makes the noodles. You can buy any kind of pie already made at the grocery, I even saw the other day you could buy already boiled eggs!!!??? Thanksgiving now is nothing more than a subsidiary of Christmas.
Families are so splintered now; all hurrying somewhere. They have no center place. Some are forced to spend Thanksgiving at numerous places where no one’s schedule coincides. It is no longer the grand and glorious feast it was.
Not this year!!!! This year I have promised myself I am going to slow down, even if it’s just for that one day. I think when you slow down, you notice things you might have otherwise missed. You have a heightened awareness of all your senses. You actually hear what people are saying. I am going to take the time to appreciate my family ties, the ties that bind our hearts together; the anchor to which we hold onto during time of great stress and troubles.
It is not just a holiday; it is a day to be thankful, to think about the past year; what you have been through and to look forward to a new and exciting one. I am going to savor each moment. And I hope to encourage those around me to do the same I wish you happy days and content hearts.