Thanksgiving. This basic American holiday arouses so many different emotions in so many different people. Happiness, sorrow, joy, but for me it brings forth memories of a very small town of 1,050 elderly farmer folk known as Frederic, Wisconsin. Here my family would gather in celebration of that simple holiday, Thanksgiving. All gathered around the table-clothed table and the procession would begin. Shining steaming turkey, mounds of mashed potatoes with the peels still intact, gravy, ham, buttered rolls steamed bean casserole along with the always canned cranberry sauce bobbled their way from hungry mouth to hungry mouth on fine china. Yet, all I can say from all of this is that Thanksgiving just wouldn’t have been the same without the family.
I believe in good friends and good company. That was what Thanksgiving has always been based on. Not fancy parades or big shows of multimillion dollar megalopolis decorations or even competitive football teams. Thanksgiving is an excuse to go out and invite neighbors and friends and family to something other than the monotonous routines of everyday life, therefore we could engage one another in something beyond a basic acquaintance. Beyond occasional meetings and have a general good time.
Thanksgiving. This basic American holiday reminds me of my great-grandparents small house in a small farming town in Wisconsin. Here my late great grandmother would work in the kitchen all day as my mother mashed the potatoes, and my aunt would be de-canning the cranberries, all of them conversing about family matters and advice. In the meantime my late great grandfather would be mesmerizing my cousins and I with his finger disappearing act, which I would come to learn had been cut off in his younger years from all of his wood-working. My two younger brothers would be running around the house in a kind of human tornado my uncle Dan and my dad would talk about work and hunting. My older brother would stand in on the man’s conversation trying to make his young self seem older while my grandfather wheeled in my grand mother who had M.S. through the door and Luann, my great aunt with Downs syndrome, would walk here and there asking how everyone was feeling. We all would sit down as the table was being set, all waiting to have a general good time.