Tuesday, November 25, 2008


By this time on Thursday, Thanksgiving 2008 will just about be over. The dishes will be done, the leftovers put away, the turkey carcass boiling for broth, and everyone gone home full and contented. Another Thanksgiving in the books!! Bob and I have spent 53 Thanksgivings together.

The very first Thanksgiving together was one I will never forget. We were in high school, had been dating for awhile, and were "going steady". Bob asked if I would like to go to his Aunt Nelllie's farm about 50 miles away for Thanksgiving dinner. I remember thinking this might be serious business as he wants to introduce me to his extended family!

What an experience it was! I came from a small family, very serious; not at all into loud, fun occasions. Thanksgiving (or any holiday) dinner in my family was almost always at my paternal grandparents, where my Grandfather reigned. He carved the bird at the table, serving each plate with great pomp and circumstance at a formally set table.

Well, we arrived at Aunt Nellie's; and there were so many people of all ages - probably about 50 people. The kitchen was a beehive of activity, women laughing and cooking. The kitchen table was covered with dishes of food. When we ate, you filled a plate and sat wherever you could find a place to light. Men were outside sitting on wash benches, logs, and the cistern cover; and didn't seem to notice that it was a cold, Colorado November day. Kids and women were eating all over the house. I was shocked - they were even sitting on Aunt Nellie's bed. I wasn't even allowed to sit on my own bed; let alone, someone else's!

Everyone had a grand time! Over the years, I gradually became used to all of this. We have spent the majority of those 53 Thanksgivings with his family. The generations have changed over the years. Now, Bob, his sisters, and his mother have gotten older. Our kids and their cousins are spread from coast to coast. It isn't easy to get together any more. I know that Bob misses it.

We have now gravitated more to my family's type of Thanksgiving, small and quiet, only without the pomp and circumstance. This year it will just be our immediate family - seven of us. The one constant over the years has always been the fact that we are grateful to God for everything He has blessed us with.



onlymehere said...

In my family we'd have 50+ people for dinners. Larry's family is smaller and spread out so there usually are only 12 or so. When my niece got married she called my MIL on Thanksgiving and was appalled that her husband's family's dishes didn't match! I laughed about this bz my mother's never did either. Who would expect it to with all those people?! You're right, things can be so different but still the same. We're having Stromboli this year bz I'm just not up to cooking a turkey for four to six people. My kids are so excited about it and my married daughter is sad she won't be here! LOL! They love Stromboli! We'll do a turkey later. Have a great holiday!

Sue said...

Lovely story....we have small holidays not having big families on either side of the fence....38 years now....this year it will be just the two of us but I'm still making food to choke a horse....We're Italian....food is our life!! Have a wonderful day...Sue.

Tootsie said...

great story...My Bob and I have had 15 thanksgivings together...I had hoped someday to be able to say 53 or even 60! lol
happy holiday

Lynne said...

What a beautiful family you married into.. I know our lives get busy and it isn't as easy to get together anymore..But our memories are always there and those are priceless. Thanks so much for coming by the tablescape and for all your kind words..

Lynne said...

OOOPPPSSS!! Shame on me.. I forgot to wish you all a very
Happy Thanksgiving!!! ~lynne~

Shelia said...

Sally, what a sweet story! My Mother wouldn't let me sit on my bed either. When I got married and we would travel and spend the night in a motel - I would literally jump up and down on the bed! I was getting all that frustration out of my system.
Have a blessed thanksgiving, dear friend.
Be a sweetie,Shelia ;)

Bo said...

This was a sweet, sweet story... Best wishes for many more Thanksgivings spent together!
;-) Bo

Smilingsal said...

We usually have 8 around our table, but there were Thanksgivings in the early days of our family when we'd go to his brother's house and there'd be 20 or so. I can't imagine 50! It's a good thing Aunt Nellie had relaxed rules and plenty of help.

Manuela said...

Those family dinners sound fun. I've always liked lots of people over at the holiday but my husband is the exact opposite! I guess because he deals with people all day long and he's in retail which at this time of year is just crazy. So we've just started have immediate family over - this year it will be just of us.

Happy Thanksgiving!


PlantBuddy said...

Just dropping in from Cami's site to say Happy Thanksgiving.

Mary said...

Oh what a sweet story! I am an only child; my husband is one of five, with tons of cousins. So the first time I went for a holiday dinner at his house, it was quite a shock. :)

Wishing you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Sally, hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Thanks for stopping by.

laurie said...

Isn't it funny how we grow up thinking every family is just like ours and then when we marry, we find totally different attitudes and traditions? I loved your description of your first Thanksgiving with your dh. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving day. laurie

nikkicrumpet said...

It will be just my hubby and I this Thanksgiving...it sure isn't the same. I miss my mom's cooking and bunches of family around *SIGH* But I'm grateful to have my sweet hubby and for all the other blessings we enjoy. I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful...Have a great day!

Sweetie said...

Congratulations on your 53 Thanksgivings together. I can imagine as a young girl that you must have been in awe of Bob's family. I loved the Thanksgivings of my childhood which were very formal. We went to my paternal grandparents. There were probably about 15 people. My grandfather stood at the head of the table and carved the turkey. We ate from Grammy's spode dishes and sterling silver. The children had Shirley Temple cocktails. After we married we had Thanksgiving at our home. We now have 32 (or more - I haven't really counted yet for this year). We serve buffet style and have folding chairs and tables so there will be a seat for everyone. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Susie Q said...

Such a wonderful story...isn't it fun to look back on past holdiays??

Even the things that seemed to go worng years ago, and caused me worry, now make us laugh!


A Romantic Porch said...

That is such a sweet memory! Our family is so huge when my husband and I married, he went from one nephew to 24 nieces and nephews. So I relate to what your saying! xo rachel