Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are two days that make me think of home more often than other holidays. I would not be surprised to learn that that this is true for many people — even if we left our parental homes years, ago, we remember our hearth and home from our childhood.
I always liked the old Norman Rockwell cover on the Saturday Evening Post around Thanksgiving depicting a grandmotherly type carrying in a beautifully roasted turkey ready to be carved.
When I was young, I did not think of what an amazing feat it was when my aunts and mother prepared the Thanksgiving meal and how they managed to have the turkey, dressing and all the side dishes ready at the same time.
The meal was cooked on a wood-burning range in the kitchen, which meant keeping the fire going throughout the roasting of the turkey and dressing in the oven plus the side dishes on top of the range. Pumpkin pie was made from a home grown pumpkin. Whipped cream from cream from a home grown cow and whipped into a fluffy white delight.
No refrigerator or microwave oven to aid in hurrying things along.
Today’s mental image for me is crowded airports with long lines of people waiting to board a homeward bound flight. When I was growing up, this was not the case as people did not live that far apart and there were no crowded airports because commercial airlines were a thing of the future.
Our mothers and aunts did not have to compete with football games on television. A friend once complained about having to time the meal to coincide with half-time so the men could gobble down the meal in twenty minutes that had taken hours planning and preparing so they could return to the family room for the 2nd half.
Pumpkin pie was often eaten in the family room competing with the postgame show with the losing team explaining what went wrong to contribute to the defeat.
While we give thanks for the important things in life, don’t forget the little things too.
My favorite Thanksgiving anecdote is about a little girl who had just had her first turkey. When asked how she liked the turkey, she replied, “I didn’t like the meat but I loved the bread it ate.”