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Giving Thanks this Thanksgiving Day

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Giving Thanks this Thanksgiving Day

For those of you not familiar with this American (or should I say “North” American because the Canadians celebrate it too…) holiday let me give you a few boring facts.

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the forth Thursday in November in the USA (the second Monday in October in Canada) The early European settlers called Pilgrims who landed at, what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620, were the first to do so, in 1621. History tells us that this day was the Pilgrims way of giving thanks for a bountiful harvest. thanksgiving However, because only half of the Plymouth Pilgrims, who sailed to the new world on a ship, called the Mayflower Mayflower , survived by the fall of that year, …I think these survivors were just thankful to be alive. Their Native American neighbors the Wampanoag tribe, who had taught the Pilgrims to cultivate the land, where invited to the feast too. Little did these indigenous people, who befriended these pioneers, know that in time more and more of these strangers would come to the “New World“ and….well…you have all seen the Wild West Cowboy and Indian movies….but oh well...

New York was the first state to officially make Thanksgiving Day an annual custom in 1871 Oh…and one last bit of useless information…Californians are the largest consumers of turkey in the USA. .whatever the heck that means! (No comments needed from any Texans here…)

History is fine but growing up in a family relatively new to this country…we didn’t come to America until the very late 19th or early 20th century…it was about being thankful, yes…but mostly about family and food. There was always a whole lot of both!!

When I was a little girl, I can remember Thanksgiving in the little house I grew up in…the house I live in today…as being filled to the rafters with people, noise and food!! My predominantly Irish family was very large back then…when the older generations were still with us and us “younger” ones weren’t scattered to all corners of this country. I remember learning to cook standing on a chair helping my Gran Clara or my Grandma Martha (We called her Marcie) by peeling potatoes or kneading bread dough. My Grandmothers had become good friends and together ruled all kitchens on holidays. All of my Aunties and the female cousins (no men allowed….only for the occasional jar that needed to be opened…or knife sharpened) either got to work or were chased out leaving only a chosen few. I was lucky enough to be one of those few most years…my older sister always pouted and made ugly faces until she was dispatched out…along with several other Aunts and cousins. (This was a total change because I was usually the one to whine and pout because I wanted to be out in the garage with “The Boys” but in those various kitchens at different holidays, I came to see that these women were so much more fascinating!!) My younger sister was just that....to young. So, this usually left me, my Mom and a cousin or two to do my Grandmothers’ biding…and my Aunt Mary to pour the wine…and tell the naughty stories…

These two formidable, funny (not to mention one certifiably “crazy“) women talked fast and their brogues got thicker with every “wee sip” of wine they consumed while cooking…but I managed to learn about living, family…oh yes…and cooking… and had the time of my life.

I had one grumpy grandfather…trust me…one was enough…who thought he was the Head of the family. When he raised his glass to praise them after my father thanked God for the food and the family, you could see it in our faces and in his too that these two women…one tall and calm the other short and “passionate“…were the real center of our family. Our true pioneers…

I miss them terribly and I am thankful I knew them.

Now, today, I am preparing to have another Thanksgiving dinner in that same little kitchen…in that same little house. No need to set up a long table in the living room to handle the multitudes we use to have, it will just be a few of us gathered around the dining room table. We will miss all who live miles away, and miss the ones who only live in our hearts. Now my Mother rules this kitchen…her twin sister still supplies the wine and the sharp wit…but my mom is in charge. I have watched her and my eldest daughter going through old recipes and magazines deciding what to cook.(G is the cook…my youngest WILL be out with the boys…girls will out number boys 2 to 1 so she evens things out…) I know it will be the same menu as back then. Even as much as my G would like this to be a total “Giada De Laurentiis” Thanksgiving, we will have the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes…and some kind of vegetable. I will be there…learning, I’m sure, from both these women. (Sigh…yes, my baby is a woman…) .

I am thankful to know these women as well…

When the Blessing is said at the table and one of the three men folk raises his glass to thank the chefs for the feast before them…I know I will remember those two dynamic women. I know, in my heart, that, even though my girls never knew them, who they are today and what they have, is in a large part because of the women that came before them…

Therefore, as you can see, this Thanksgiving I am thankful for the women in my life. That includes all of you here…I thank you for letting me into your lives and allowing me to learn and grow with your knowledge and insights…and patience.

I am truly thankful I know you….. I love you

“Every day is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be”...Marsha Petrie Sue
Mother Ocean

Posts : 307
Join date : 2010-09-27
Location : So CaL


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Giving Thanks this Thanksgiving Day :: Comments


Post on Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:12 pm  minnie

Thank you for this amazing post, Mother .
I have always loved the Thanksgiving Day and the way you celebrate it . All I knew .. I watched on tv .
Now I know something more .. thank you.

I think I don't say anything new when I say that we are grateful as well to have you in our lives. Thank you .

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Post on Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:38 pm  yellowsmileyfaces

Thank you for your sincere post mom. We are so thankful for you as well. Hope you had a great day.

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Post on Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:52 am  paperinik

OMG MO!!! I need a lot of time to read your post about Thanksgiving. I'm happy exists this day in America. Happy Thanksgiving to you MO and YSF and all american people Very Happy

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Post on Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:26 pm  yellowsmileyfaces

thanks for the thanksgiving wishes. I am full on turkey already. so one question mo: nothing for us to fight about? oh i mean discuss heavily....

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