Thursday, November 24, 2011


When our kids were little we always had Thanksgiving at our house. Extended family members could join us; but that was our holiday not to travel. We pretended to be pilgrims. We cooked potatoes and cranberries and dried bread for stuffing over the wood stove. We didn’t watch TV or listen to the radio; we made our own music and our own entertainment. We used candles and lanterns when the sun went down instead of electric lights. Of course we used the electric stove for baking the pies and roasting the chicken, but we’d grown the apples and the pumpkins and chicken, so we felt that we were as close to pilgrims as we could get.
The fun thing about those Thanksgivings was not that we were playing pilgrim, but that we were working together to do something that we didn’t ordinarily do. When the kids got fussy, we smushed pumpkin for pie or put on warm jackets and boots to tromp through the snow to gather dried weeds for a table decoration. Everybody helped with the cooking; everybody helped entertain the kids. We were a family.
Our kids are grown with kids of their own, and we gathered this year in St Louis for Thanksgiving. No wood stove, no snow, no home grown chicken or pumpkin or potatoes. But everybody still helps with the cooking (even Kieran and Jasper), everybody still entertains the kids(even Kieran and Jasper), and if we use electricity for cooking and music and light, it’s okay. It’s the family together for which we give thanks.

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