No, I have nothing that dramatic to tell. My memory tells my age if nothing else. Every major holiday we made the trek to my grandmother’s house. Not sure how the rest of my family felt about this, but I loved it because I loved my grandmother and she was the best cook ever. If it involved food, who wouldn’t want to visit her?
For this food intensive holiday, my aunts brought side dishes to help out the spread. My mother made her famous yeast rolls that were divine. Because we were a big family, the kids had to eat at the children’s table on the sun porch. This was another plus since we didn’t have to be quiet while the adults conversed. Usually, there was laughter and the occasionally thrown roll, which resulted in an uncle suggesting in a deep voice from the other room that we should “Pipe down.”
At the end of the glorious meal, my grandmother would reveal a half dozen pies she had baked, including my favorite, coconut cream pie. After consuming enough calories for a family of four, my uncles and father staggered off to the living room to watch football, which was often code for a nap.
My boy cousins vanished outside to play in the chill temperature and the babies were put down for a nap in the guest bedroom among the discarded coats. The women and girls crowded the narrow kitchen for clean-up detail. It was difficult maneuvering in the crowded kitchen and I often got underfoot. I was too short to reach anything and would never have been allowed to touch the good china.
The arched kitchen doorway revealed my father in the living room comfortably seated on the couch and laughing at something my uncle had said. I made my decision then and dashed for sanctuary. I snuggled in by my father’s side while my mother attempted to lure me back into the kitchen in a low voice, attempting not to make a scene.
This year will find me in the kitchen, but I’ll solicit everyone’s help regardless of gender. When it comes to china, we’ll use Chinet and everything else will go into the dishwasher. In a moment of holiday rebellion, I considered ordering Chinese takeout but didn’t want the bloating. The day after Thanksgiving when many women crowd the shopping venues, my daughter and I will suit up in our form-fitting Star Trek uniforms (which explains why I didn’t want any bloating) to volunteer at Star Trek Con. So, maybe I did carry on the legacy of doing what I wanted and not what was expected of me, encouraged by my father.
Are you listening, Dad? I resolve to live long and prosper this Thanksgiving.
What is your fondest holiday memory?