Reading stories about how people will be facing the Nazi-like restrictions on gatherings this Thanksgiving had me reminiscing…
When I was young, we would sometimes converge at my Uncle Bob’s house in San Francisco for Thanksgiving, but for the most part it was just the three of us. Mom cooked a typical turkey dinner – which was overkill and would see us eating leftovers (Can you say “turkey sandwich”?) for what seemed liked weeks.
After I turned 18 and moved out on my own, we’d take our Thanksgiving celebrations to fine-dining establishments. To this day, my fondest holiday memories are the ones where we got all dressed-up and went out to eat. I can remember dinner-plate-sized Caesar salads tossed at the table and escargots with lots of french bread with which to mop-up the garlic butter sauce (This was before I became a vegetarian.), and Cherries Jubilee for dessert. I dearly miss those special times with my Mom and Dad.
After I got married, my ex-husband and I would swap holidays. One year we’d go to my family for Thanksgiving and spend Christmas with his folks. The next year, we switch it up…and so on. When my Mom died we’d invite Dad over to our place each year – until he met a wonderful lady (Ruth), who would become his wife and my step-mother, and then holiday get-togethers would be split between three households.
As far as holiday traditions go, I can’t recall much after my divorce. But I DO remember occasional dinners out with Dad and Ruth. Most holidays I spent by myself, but I really didn’t mind. I’d watch movies and hang-out with my cats. One Thanksgiving a couple who were close friends (and aerobics students) of mine came over brandishing a turkey thigh (Yes, the kitties got some!) while I cooked all the extras.
When I moved in with my ex-boyfriend (and very best friend), splitting-up the holidays between families became de rigueur once again. After my Dad passed away and holidays with his family occurred sporadically, we chose to create our own traditions – which lived on even after we split-up and became roommates.
Then I moved to Hootersville… Never part of any family and not given the opportunity to make friends, I spent the last two years with an individual who didn’t believe that holidays were “special”. So Diego and I celebrated together, in our own way.
Now that I’m back home in Santa Clara, I am excited to be hanging-out with my two best friends – and roommates. This will be our first Thanksgiving together, Ramses and I (Too bad we’re having Tofurkey®. I may have to come up with something special for him.), and the first one for all three of us. I have much to be grateful for.
My heart goes out to all who cannot be with their loved ones today, but I hope everyone has at least one good friend to “hang-out” with – whether that friend has four legs or two!
Together, let’s raise a glass – you and I – and toast to friendships, family, health, and happiness for one and all!