published: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
A Thanksgiving to remember
While I have complained about some of the nastiness on Facebook, I was a little surprised to hear it was listed among the top three things that stress people out, especially during the holidays. I have to give credit to the social media site. It has prompted the opportunity for people all over to "go public" daily with something they are thankful for - especially during the month of November.
I didn't participate this year, but I did last year. Since then, I've tried to make it a habit to recognize the things I'm thankful for on a daily basis year round. Not necessarily in a public fashion, but at least to those who the thanks is directed toward.
We spent our Thanksgiving at home this year. In the past we have spent it at my sister's or my brother's. This year though I wanted to cook Thanksgiving dinner myself. It had been a long time. In fact, it had been 11 years since I cooked Thanksgiving dinner myself. When my husband left, the family kind of took over the holidays - Thanksgiving was either at my brother's or sister's, and Christmas moved to my mom's. They didn't want to burden me with all of the cooking and clean up afterwards, considering I had two young children at home and a full-time job that doesn't recognize holidays.
It was OK; I let them take the holidays over. Honestly, if it hadn't been for them, we probably wouldn't have had a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, especially that first year.
Anyway, this year I decided I wanted to cook Thanksgiving dinner again. I have always loved to cook, and remember as a high school sophomore cooking the entire meal myself while my dad had my mom at the emergency room. She suffered from serious breathing problems - asthma and allergies, to name the worst things at that time. Dad woke me up to tell me he was taking her to the hospital and I just went ahead and started cooking. They made it home quite a bit later to a big meal that had been kept hot. Mom had an oxygen tank with her, but she apparently told the doctors she wasn't staying at the hospital. It was that year when the doctors strongly urged Dad to move the family to Florida or Arizona and here we still are.
My decision to stay home this year was reinforced when a week ago we headed to church and the children informed me they had been talking and didn't remember me cooking a Thanksgiving meal at home. Well, I wasn't going to have any of that. Briana is 21 and Daniel is 16. Who knows how many more opportunities I will have before one or both move away? Not only did I want them to remember a festive meal like that being prepared at home, but I wanted to make sure they helped fix it.
The turkey was smoked and all of the trimmings were prepared. Each one of us kept busy in the kitchen, and even when my parents arrived, there was nothing for them to do. They were allowed to stay in and watch the parade and dog show on television.
Dinner was ready shortly after the noon hour. All of the dishes were finished on time. Dad and Daniel brought the turkey in, and it was all I wanted in the dinner bird - a beautiful brown on the outside, nice and moist on the inside and a perfect flavor.
Although it wasn't a perfect day since my siblings gathered together elsewhere, it was still a beautiful day and was perfect in its own way. As we stood in the center of the kitchen, holding hands in a circle while Dad offered the blessing, I knew I had made the right decision to stay home and cook.
It was a Thanksgiving I won't forget, and I don't think the kids will either.
Romona Washington is publisher and executive editor of the News-Sun. She can be reached at 385-6155 ext. 515.
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