The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 6, 2002


Thanksgiving tradition

Do you remember the first time you were the host and actually had the family over for Thanksgiving? Personally, I forgot to serve the rolls. This year, we celebrated with my cousin's daughter. She, her husband and year-old son have just bought a house, and we all were invited to feast both our eyes and our stomachs — sort of like a family "show and tell."

Let me first fill you all in on some of our past history. My cousin Becky and I first starting spending Thanksgiving together when we were small children. Our mothers were sisters and we all lived within walking distance of each other. Back in the 1940s, neither family had a car, and only one of us had a telephone. We shared what we had, and holidays were spent at the home of the family where the largest dining room table resided. We always managed to have a feast with everyone contributing whatever was needed. There were six kids at the "kids' table," and our ages were within ten years of each other. It was great and we were thankful to be together.

As you know, people grow up, houses get sold, people die, and others marry and start new families. All perfectly normal, it happens in every family, even yours and mine. My cousin Becky and I each married and had five children between us. Again, normal; although we no longer lived within walking distance, we did live within driving distance. So, in the late 1980s, we starting spending Thanksgiving together. Five of them, four of us. We shared the cooking, and the youngest two cousins decided to do the dishes. That was wonderful.

This year, for the first time, we went to Cousin Leslie's new house. First, they had to tell us where it was. Their street is not on any map, even though it is an old street. This young family is still living with their "apartment" furniture. That means that we had to bring our own table and chairs. Leslie's mother and father brought their own table and chairs, too. Do you remember those days — meager furnishings, cardboard boxes, not enough silver or plates? Just starting out, full of hope and plans, with all the enthusiasm of youth? Youth here is a relative term, because all our kids are in their thirties, but they are young to me. Today, with marriages and the arrival of children, our little group has grown from nine to fifteen.

In my lifetime, I have now seen five generations celebrate Thanksgiving together. Two generations before me, and now two after me. A lot of life has occurred, from the time Becky and I were the grandchildren, until today when there is a whole new crop of grandchildren. But just think, we have enjoyed this meal with someone born in 1870 to someone born in 2001. To me, that's quite a tradition.

The meal was wonderful. Everybody came, we all helped, all the food was eaten, and no little child threw up or had a temper tantrum.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito