Thursday, November 24, 2011

11-24-11 Thanksgivings Past

Where are all the pictures of childhood Thanksgivings? I have exactly one picture that pre-dates me:

I can spot the decimated turkey, half empty stuffing bowl, and sweet potatoes. This was Me-Maw at left, my grandaddy Saltsman at center, my my aunt Laverne to his right. Everyone wore Sunday clothes.

For the longest time Thanksgiving was held at Me-Maw's house in Mexia. Me-Maw would get up at something like 3:00 in the morning to get the turkey on at the right time for lunch (called dinner in the South, while the later meal is called supper). As a kid, of course, the only highlight of the morning was the Thanksgiving Day parades -- the Foley's one out of Houston and Macy's from New York. The highlight was always the Snoopy balloon. And they didn't keep pausing the parade for the millionth lip-synced Broadway or pop number back then. The Rockettes were about it.

Then they turned on football and I tuned out.

Mostly I remember being bored, going out alone into the backyard with nothing to do and the endless wait while the bustle in the kitchen continued and I was in the way.

Until, finally, I was put to work setting things on the table, which was laid out in its Sunday best, china, polished silver, cloth napkins. There was never a need for a kids table that I recall, because I was the only kid. (My two cousins were a decade older.) It certainly wasn't my favorite holiday.

Older now, and a little more intimate with the concept of gratitude and family, it's one of the few times we can gather together under one roof and be thankful that, for at least another year, we are together.

And there's still the Snoopy balloon...


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