And long, long ago, the relatives arrived – three aunts and uncles and twelve cousins, plus two strangers, homeless men my Dad always invited.
Mother had cooked for three days – we ate soup and crackers, as the cooking was for the Thanksgiving dinner.
The table set with Mother’s beautiful, special Bavarian china – no one touched it, no one carried it to the table, no one washed the dishes, no one dried the dishes, no one put the china away. It was hers, and she cherished it. We were allowed to eat on it – in awe.
The adults sat at the table, the children stood behind their parents. My sister and my brother were at my side as we stood behind our parents.
Dinner was called. Everyone was in place on time. The adults held hands, the children behind held hands, the circle complete and connected. My Dad said grace as only my Dad could. Then each of us children were called and asked to name one thing we were thankful for. Toys said the youngest, games said some, friends, food, clothes, my family – we named them – one at a time and only one thing. That is the way it was done long ago in my childhood home.
Grace complete, dinner was served. Dad cut the turkey. The children went off to the enclosed back porch and celebrated children’s way.
Too soon the food was gone, the chatter quiet. The children ran off in the neighborhood, lucky if the lake was frozen and we could ice skate. Everyone gone until next year. Thankful for so many blessings we always were.