One of my favorite memories for years on end was one that I was never a part of.
It was always the day after Thanksgiving and very early after coffee and nut roll and a light breakfast, my sister, my mother, my grandmother, and sometimes my aunt would all venture either downtown, or in very later years, to the mall to do what to shop fericiously, even before there was a Black Friday.
And shop they did; they invented the phrase SHOP TILL YOU DROP, and they literally would come home exhausted with packages upon packages, most of them not wrapped because that was another venture, too. They would come home to what hungry people, mostly the kids and the guys who didn’t go shopping all day but sat around and watched football and waited and waited and waited for the girls to come home so that they could scarf down the reheated Thanksgiving dinner that we had the night before. It was the same dinner and yet, somehow, it tasted better if that’s possible; maybe the tired but happy hands that prepared it was just the PINCH of that little something, something that made it taste better; no matter, it was delicious, even in memory form these 55-60 years later.
Why did it always taste better then? Why would a memory like this bring so much peace when I wasn’t even a part of it? But what I was a part of, the very fact of that feeling that it brought me when I can still hear the crunch of the gravel knowing that they were home safely and what was about the follow was another great meal even better family time and sometimes a game of trivia pursuit. It defined fun in a way a dictionary never has been able to capture. It brought peace in a way that nice ocean waves or a calm lake or a babbling. brook never could interpret. And what it brought most of the time couldn’t be defined, or couldn’t be explained and even now barely understood, even all of these years later. But the thought of it, the memory in my crevices, I can experience it all over again even taste it, so much so, there’s nothing that can be opened out of a can or brought out of a refrigerator or re-heated that equals it.
That was Thanksgiving in a way that didn’t just last a day or a weekend but continued throughout the season because we all knew what was going to follow: More shopping, the baking of cookies and yes, Christmas and better still the week between Christmas and New Year’s. It was a Wonderland that to this day transforms me to a WANDERLAND, one that you never wanted to wander away from. Even now I wander back into that amazing Wonder, not wanting to leave thinking, knowing nothing can ever compare or replace it.
. . .and even though your Stomach might still be full,
I hope your heart is EMPTY enough to
truly continue this Season of
T H A N K S
G E T T I N G
. . .may it be way better than you have planned