We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Thanksgiving is one of my favourite times of the year. The weather is usually gorgeous. The fall colours are in the early stages of emerging to reach the finished creation titled, The Beauty of Autumn.
Colours with names like Crimson Red, Burnt Orange, Brilliant Yellow and Soft Green can be seen everywhere lining the fields of corn stalk stubble, and empty brown fields where soybean and wheat now combined and trucked away to waiting silos and bins. Trees of beauty and treasure starting to shed their multi-coloured leaves, to share with the young and old who want to capture and hold their beauty, be that in photos or in between layers of wax paper requiring an iron, and your Mom. Memories captured and never to be forgotten, stories that will never die.
Stories of tripping over boots and shoes piled high, just inside the door leading to more stories and memories. Laughter and screams of joy coming from outside, where happy rambunctious children run and play, seeping through the open windows that let the smell of fresh air and sunshine fill the house.
Constant loud chatter, mixed with the noise of the banging of pots and pans, can be heard coming from the kitchen, where stories from past Thanksgivings are being shared among those who cling to them. Stirring and creating a meal that will be remembered and where the laughter and an occasional tear bring hugs and smiles. That laughter and those old stories mixed with those familiar aromas coming from the oven, and from the top of the stove, with a recipe for a dressing stuffed inside the turkey that was always, and will forever be made by those who promise never to forget.
Not all of us will have this, this year.
I am so grateful for all those stories and memories. Of the memories of laughter that continue to bounce around in my head, the chatter of old stories being shared, and the love of family. The tripping over those shoes and boots piled high by the door, those banging clanging pots and pans. The smell of that dressing that is still, and will always be made to honour a woman who loved this time of year, and was always so grateful for the family she was blessed with. I am grateful for the memories of fighting over the wishbone, and those who dared to like the “pokes nose” but mostly for all those who remember.
The memory that still brings smiles, about when Uncle Dave brought his own chair, knowing there was never going to be enough. The day the oven quit, with a half cooked turkey and a house over flowing with hungry Thanksgiving celebrators with high expectations, and the clever sister who rushed out to pick up Kentucky Fried Chicken to save the day. Oh yes there are at least a million stories running around in all our heads.
Things change, people move far away and some grow tired of fighting the traffic stay home. People have their own homes and families, or in my own case are expecting new members. Some of them are fighting colds or other ailments. Then there are the people who unfortunately passed on, to begin their next journey of life, and leaving us to carry on without them.
We owe it to all those family members who were here, are here, and will be joining us here very soon, to never forget the stories. Generations of stories never to be forgotten and passed down are as important as that dressing (stuffing) recipe.
So, to all those who will not be celebrating this year, for whatever reason please remember this. We love you, we miss you, and you are always in all of our hearts. Most importantly, we will keep sharing those stories with each new generation.
A personal message to those in my life who could not be here: Do not forget those stories either, and don’t forget to share them today and every day with everyone and anyone who will listen. (Not the dressing recipe though, that is a family secret). Do know we will be talking about you and laughing, while reliving those memories.
Love from Mom, Dad and to some Uncle Hero and Aunt B hugs.
Times do change. Those who sitting, or who are not sitting, at the table may change too, but life is like that. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.