Tradition: A delicate little gravy boat and pretty crystal bowl.

Mom and Dad in their younger years.

I’m missing my Mom this morning as I think about Thanksgiving preparations and what needs to be done. Where’s her gravy boat, I ask myself and then frantically search the kitchen cabinets to find it.  There it is – the delicate hand-painted china boat with saucer attached – so familiar.  Then I find her small crystal bowl in which I serve cole slaw just like she did. Having these two pieces, which belonged to her and graced every Thanksgiving table since I was a kid is important for me.  It’s a tradition. Having these same pieces along with her china makes me feel that in some small way my Mom and Dad are still here with me, even though they passed 16 years ago.

I miss my Aunt Vi, too, my godmother.  She came to every one of our Thanksgiving celebrations.  We would have a rum egg nog together sprinkled with a little nutmeg as we toasted the day.  She always held a napkin around the glass to catch the moisture.  Then she insisted on making the gravy, which came out so thick a spoon could stand up in the concoction.  Someone once wisecracked that Vi’s gravy eats like a meal

I can still picture my Grandpop at the table with that smile that told you he was up to something.  There’s gruff Uncle Henry at the other end taking it all in and telling silly jokes. I see Dad quietly enjoying his meal – shoveling it in and savoring each morsel. Over there my brother and I are kids again, trying not to fight – trying not to open our full mouths to gross each other out when our parents aren’t looking. I see my kids at that same table at each stage of life…first as little babies in high chairs, then picky toddlers, bored teenagers and finally mature, wonderful adults. I don’t know where the time goes. I see their wonderful guys…Matt and Blake. Some years there were my cousin Pat and Ken and their kids Lindsay and Philip, and other years our friends Jane, Jamie and Jill joining us and adding to our precious memories.

My Aunt Vi

I carry on the tradition of the holidays preparing the food the same way my Mom did with her recipes and mine blended together. This year I will teach my daughter Kate how to make the meal, which I’m very excited about. I’ll be wishing Megan and Matt, who live in Florida, could be here with us. I’ll buy some egg nog and drink a toast to Aunt Vi and all the others, although I’ll make my gravy a little thinner. We’ll make turkey apples with an olive head and feathers of marshmellows, raisins and Cheerios. And after it’s done, we’ll cozy up together and watch “Christmas Vacation” to kick off the season.I thank God for the blessings of our family and friends – near and far – present and some now who have passed, and thank Him for the memories and traditions of a holiday that keeps love alive and everyone close in our hearts.

Wishing you and yours a very blessed, Happy Thanksgiving.


5 responses »

  1. Jeezzz Sue you really touched my heart today. This holiday is especially rough on me and my family. It was such a pleasure reading your blog. Memories are the best; you laugh, you cry, you smile. Getting back to the gravy every Sunday when mom cooked and my father would say how much longer till dinner is ready (funny cause he ate like a bird) she would say almost just have to make the gravy and we would look at each other and shake our heads and dad would say one more hour I bet. Anyway we love you guys very much. love pat

    • Missed you again this year, as usual, Cuz. Had some egg nog for Vi. Yes, your Dad was a character. Gotta love him! Hope your holiday was happy…know how much I love and miss you. You were always my best friend. Love you…

      • I love you too very much and I did have a toast to my Aunt Stephie and especially you and your family. Best friends forever….

  2. So touched. One of the reasons I so enjoy reading your posts is that often I feel you are writing what is in my heart, as well as your own. Just last month I was going through my mother’s belongings, I had been unable to really do that since I lost her. As you said, a little piece of crystal on the table, her old silverware, makes me feel she is with us still and I can picture the family of days long gone. Maybe that is what Thanksgiving is truly about, being grateful for those we had in our lives and appreciating those faces around the table, past, present and to come. Have a Blessed Thanksgiving.

    • Maybe we’re twin sisters from different mothers…so much in common and in our way of thinking. Wish we could talk over coffee and share our stories. Sorry for the loss of your Mom…and yes, it is so very difficult to go through their belongings. I know you’ll keep some things as another way of keeping her close in your heart. I appreciate your beautiful comments. Hope your Thanksgiving was happy and filled with loved ones. On to Christmas!

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