This is the time of year when I really miss the good ole days.
Growing up in a very large family we had traditions. Thanksgiving was spent with my father's side of the family. That meant the traditional turkey and ham at Aunt Betty's house where the cousins from Helena would show up around 1 in the afternoon. We would split the living room in half- one side for the Cowboys and the other for Green bay! (Being a Bears fan meant you just played both sides until you ended up on the winning side!) It was a great day to watch all the guys argue each and every call and then the winner would be dogging the losers throughout dinner.
Dinner was the buffet style with all the younger kids (me included) stuck sitting at the card table or on the floor with the plate in our lap. Uncle Fr. Tony would lead the prayer, usually the angelis (sp?) which was a bout 10 minutes of grace with a few hail mary added on. Looooonnnngggggg. I remember just closing my eyes and reciting it in cadence with the family just hoping someone would start talking faster. Once the food started to hit our mouths conversations would slow but my family never stops talking. I think the only time it would be truly quiet it when the pies were being cut. My Aunt Betty didn't just make a small pumpkin pie or even 3 she made them on a cookie sheet and we all got squares! It was a treat to get the one with more than bottom crust. Cool whip never lasted past the older cousins so I had to squeeze into the line to get some.
After the food if there was another game on then it was back to the shouting matches while Uncles Bill and Fr. Tony would fall asleep in the recliners. There would be hide-n-seek in the dark and someone would end up crying over a skinned knee but it was fun and we were a family. That was all that mattered.
This year again I will be with that side of the family but with out any of the Uncles or Aunts. My Cousin Mary will cook the bird at her house and I will bring the veggy tray. No football games because they have no TV in the living room and the kids will take over the basement with pool and Xbox. No cousins from Helena. No card table. No hide-n-seek. Just family- a very small one at that. I'm sure someone will lead us in the angelis, painful as it may be.
This year has disappeared so quickly and I have hardly had time to breathe. It will be Christmas before too long and then on into 2009. Time never stops.
I am very thankful for my family.