Turkey Day in Charlestown

With today being Thanksgiving, it reminded me of so many Thanksgivings past…..

When I was young, we would have Thanksgiving at my Grandmother’s house….the table stretched from one end of the dining through the other end of the living room (she had 8 children, plus all the grandkids, plus some cousins). Of course, the kids sat at the kids “table”, which was the far end of the table (the furthest from the kitchen). We ended up at the mismatched chairs, jammed up against the random card tables slid together. My family were always the “late” people, which was a double curse since we always brought the crudite (a fancy word for cold vegetables, usually bought at the last minute and thrown together as we were rushing out the door). That incurred the evil eye and disapproving comments from my grandmother, who wanted everyone to be on time.

Later, we would all sit down to the (dry) turkey, slathered with gravy, with stuffing piled on top. Down at our end of the table, we never ended up with any of stuffing from the bird, but instead the basic stuff which was used to ensure that everyone had enough.

After dessert (which included yummy banana cream pie), we would all sit down to watch the game on the TV, which was one of the first remote control TVs ever. It was controlled by a real “clicker”, where the “click” caused the channels to turn. I’ll always remember the “Click..Clack” of the remote and the TV knob turning.

I’ve also had the saddest Thanksgiving ever, and it involved “Turkey Loaf”. But that’s a story for another day.

This Thanksgiving we have our own little tradition. Since Betsy & I are both from the Midwest, we don’t need to break out the card tables or the extra large bird. Instead we have other “orphans” over for dinner. Betsy’s “cousin” John, who is from the next town over in Ohio is our family. Aurelie & Thomas, who are from France (and have no family here) are welcome guests. They promised to bring over some apple pie, but she mentioned making it “Normandy style”, so I’ll bet it means it’ll be a little fancier than the pie grandma used to make.

Part of Thanksgiving is giving thanks…so here’s the short list: Two healthy and (for the most part) happy kids, a beautiful wife (who is also an excellent mother), our nice warm house, our family and friends, and a turkey that fits in our oven. I’ll get back to you on the stuffing.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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  1. Neal, Neal, Neal! Thrown together vegetables as the contribution from your family? Here I thought your mother was quite a cook….. aka MOM

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