11.24.2005

Thanks or something like it

I love Thanksgiving Day. But what’s not to like about a day that revolves around stuffing yourself full of some of the world’s greatest comfort foods?

My Mom was not the greatest cook and by that I mean she had a limited pool from which she pulled.

What she did better than all the rest was Sunday dinners.

I lived for those Sunday dinners.

They always consisted of a roast something. Beef, chicken, or pork roast, mashed potatoes, gravy and a couple of veggie side dishes.

Thanksgiving was the ultimate Sunday dinner. Forget that it was on a Thursday. Added to the usual suspects served; stuffing, rolls, cranberry sauce, fruit cocktail and about 25 extended family members.

It took me years to perfect my Mother’s stuffing, gravy and mashed potaoes. I have done her proud. My oldest Brother will vouch for that and he’s no easy critic.

My 16 year old has dubbed me the Thanksgiving Queen.

I prefer Goddess or Diva but I’ll take it.

My Mom has been dead for nearly 10 years now and today is one of the days it hits me.

Hard.

One of my strongest memories of my Mom and Thanksgiving has nothing to do with our meal.

I come from a family that didn’t have much. We got by and when you’re very young you don’t really have a clue.

One year when we were still living in Albany my Mom found out about a family at church that was in a bad way. I don’t know what happened but they were struggling to make it day to day.

While we were doing the big turkey day shop I failed to notice that she bought more than usual.

Hey. I was 6 and she was cooking for 30 people.

When we got home I started to notice.

Some things weren’t being put in the pantry or fridge. Some things were being packed in a large cardboard box. All the fixings for a complete second turkey dinner.

That box and I were tucked back into the car and we drove to a street I didn’t know.

I asked endless questions and she shushed me and said it was just something to make little girls ask questions and I was told I had to zip my lips when we got out of the car till we got back in.

Hey. It was the 60’s and still about being seen and not heard.

Mom unloaded me and that box and then she somehow managed to carry that heavy box around the corner and up to an apartment duplex I had never been to before.

Mom paused instructing me again to be completely silent and to walk on tippy toes. Followed by a look that told me to do now, ask questions later.

We crept inside and Mom placed the box outside the downstairs apartment’s door and we crept back outside to the street and back around the corner.

I started to ask what we had just done but Mom wasn’t done yet. She spoke with an older man who was on his way around the corner we just came from.

The older man agreed to go knock on the door where we left the food promising not to describe us to the folks inside.

I finally got my questions answered years later. That family was too prideful to take donations from the church and my Mother couldn’t stand the thought of them not having a proper Thanksgiving dinner.

I’m sure it cut into my father’s Pabst Blue Ribbon budget for a few weeks.

So as I sat here typing this memory while The Hubster and son still sleep and the snow piles gently up, I know why on Tuesday while I finished shopping for my family’s feast that I bought two extra turkeys and got extra cash out at the register.

My Mother’s legacy goes beyond the gravy, mashed and stuffing to die for.

Happy Thanksgiving.
posted by Angel @ 2:18 PM |

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