The Thanksgiving holiday has always been an event that the members of my family have looked forward to each year. The value of family and friends has been instilled in me bit by bit, year by year. Given that my family has given so much to me, I thought it might be fun to see what lessons my mother is taking from this holiday. So, I invite you to enjoy my 2nd guest blogger… my mother:
What am I thankful for? Gee where do I start… First and foremost I am thankful for my family. I am very blessed not only to have a wonderful Daughter, son-in-law, two of the greatest grandsons ever, but I also have wonderful brothers and sisters. I really do have a lot to be thankful for, but this will be the hardest, saddest thanksgiving I will ever have to go through.
All my life growing up, my mom made sure all of us kids knew that Thanksgiving meant more to her than any other holiday of the year. She would prepare for two weeks. She would bake around 13 pies, she always made sure each one of us had our favorite pie, now mind you, not just for the meal but one or two to take home also; Of course we all had different favorites. My brother Calvin’s favorite was Strawberry rhubarb, I always liked pumpkin, My sister Vickie was always an Apple pie Person, etc. etc. Then, homemade potato bread was not the only bread. We would have banana bread, pumpkin bread, Tomorrow’s Salad, many times a Ham and Turkey, Mashed potatoes, Gravy, stuffing, squash, Baked Beans and much more.
Mom had to have everything just perfect; she pealed, and cooked at least 10 pounds of potatoes. She would let us do the clean up, but as far as the meal was concerned she would not let any of us do anything for it, other than mash the potatoes and put together the tomorrow’s salad. That was a special salad she always had growing up, but it was time consuming. It consisted of real whipping cream, and lots of fruit. She would buy the best fruit she could find. And we would have to cut the grapes in half take the seeds out. She would stand over us to make sure we had them all out, and that we were not using too many bananas or apples, and we whipped the cream long enough to a consistency she approved of.
Last year was the first year she did not do it all herself. Her cancer was starting to get the best of her. She didn’t think she had the strength do to it anymore so she guided my sister Vickie and I on making the meal.
We of course designated the tomorrow’s salad to the new younger generation. We cooked the whole meal with her directing us, getting very cranky because we may have used one too many apples or not the exact amount of potatoes she wanted, and not enough sage. Etc.
With her guidance the meal turned out great, right down to the Strawberry Rhubarb pies!
The meal was a success, My sister Vickie and I agreed we would carry on the tradition as long as our nieces and nephews seeded all the darn grapes for the salads, and maybe we would just use cool whip after all it should be the same, do we really need squash and beans? There were going to be a few changes, just to make it easier, but it would still be like moms.
Well a year has come and gone, now IM sitting here trying to remember exactly how much sugar that Strawberry Pie had in it, mom didn’t have recipes for things like that. Did she put brown sugar in the squash? And yes, we need baked Beans, and cool whip will not do.
I so want to carry out Mom’s love for Thanksgiving, but my sister was supposed to be here to help me. I counted on her to remember the little details, because she was so much like mom.
Mom passed away in January, and Vickie passed away in June. Thanksgiving is not only mom’s favorite Holiday, but it was also Vickie’s Birthday. We lost them both, for me Thanksgiving will never be the same, but I will make sure the meal is. I’m sorry I took them for granted.
Lesson: Be thankful for whatever you have now because you may not have it next year.
Happy Thanksgiving MOM!! Happy Birthday Vickie, We love and miss you both!
(My words again…) Thank you for the reminder, Mom. I have never wanted a strawberry rhubarb pie quite as badly as I do this year either. I’m sure Grandma is having Vickie help her prepare a special dinner for Gpa Elvis:)
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!