The True Holiday of Fall
The day began full of expectation. The weatherman had predicted the rain having left two days ago, that the sky would clear and the middle mid-west would enjoy 62 degrees with sunshine. 3:30 AM came early, VERY early. Yes, my wife’s mind was filled with the need to get the pumpkin pies in the oven early!!….but a strange thing occurs as you get older, we tend to sleep less soundly or as long. Its not really understandable to me, at times I’ll sleep until 7:30 (rarely) most of the time I’m up and going before 6 AM. We headed for the coffee pot and the early news. The pies placed in the oven and timer set.
Today was full of expectation, the pies cooling, we prepared for the journey to our daughters’ house, ……for the last few years she’s prepared the family meal. My wife brings pies, daughter-in-law, the rolls, mom brings a salad. This year began differently though, finding us heading to the grocery store, we purchased a meal for 8 which we delivered to a family that wouldn’t be enjoying the same luxuries that we do.
What’s happened to Thanks Day? In anticipation of this day, I’ve been pondering that question. When I was five or six this was THE BIG FALL EVENT. Grandma ALWAYS prepared the meal. The house was decorated with all sorts of fall things. Where was Halloween? Nowhere to be found, that was a little insignificant event compared to Thanks Day. Here’s what’s also interesting, spell check won’t even let me type Halloween without capitalizing it? Why? As I looked around this fall, Halloween has been built up to a major retailer event, while thanksgiving has been reduced to a grocery store event..how sad. Thanks Day is now only thought of as the DAY BEFORE BLACK FRIDAY! We may re-name Thanks Day (Thanksgiving) to Black Friday Eve.
As I grew into my late teens and early 20’s, the morning of Thanks Day, was when my father and I went rabbit hunting. We’d walk for hours, NEVER see a rabbit but we’d talk. It was one of those rare times when we actually had (took) time to communicate.
In my 40’s, I never quite grasped, when my father commented, about how much work is was for my mother to put together a BIG family meal. Like any well planned program, you list what you’re having, buy it, decide when you’re eating, back date (hours) the cooking time, press start then sit down and eat! We’ve been married for…….let me re-phrase that, we are now in our sixties AND, for some crazy reason, this planning, timing, and sitting down to eat thing doesn’t go as smooth as it used to.
I give Thanks for this day, for the memories my grandmother gave me, for the walks with my dad, for my children, for daughter’s desire and willingness to host the family. My younger sons’ family couldn’t make it this year, but I give Thanks that we got to see him in New Jersey the week before–(although, for my money you can keep New Jersey).
There’s been a lot of changes during this Day of Thanks over the years, I’m glad our family has stuck together for them.