Thanksgiving brings back so many memories for me. Though I’m usually not with my parents & family (the plains states weather is too unpredictable), I’m with close friends who make it a nice day. This year is no exception. Often, when I wouldn’t be able to make it home, I found friends in similar positions who were kind enough to take me in for the day.
Yet, all these memories bring back the silly but fun arguments growing up of who got to sit at the “big” table & who sat at the kids table. Many times it rotated, so eventually we did each get a turn. Sometimes the true babies of the family sat there by default for obvious reasons. But in the end, no matter where I sat it always felt comfortable.
I remember my grandfather & uncle with a huge vat of potatoes. My grandfather was an early bird anyway, he’d be up at 4am those mornings boiling potatoes.
Others would take turns with the turkey and other fixings. Sometimes, since our family had Norweigan heritage my step-grandmother would make lutefisk herself for those who wanted it. I was never bold enough to try it. It’s essentially fish baked in lye. I’ll pass.
My parents church however, makes a killing each year having a supper with that, swedish meatballs, & a few other fixings. I remember heading to Sunday school the Sunday after. You could still smell the fish.
We also had lefse either made my aunt, or maybe by someone else. Pies too. There was never a shortage of food.
I missed lefse so much. Went years without any. Last year, one of my cousins in Minnesota was kind enough to send me a batch of her own. Good stuff, let me tell you.
One year I would sit next to both the lutefisk & oyster stew (another family favorite) & the smell overpowered me. I lived to tell the tale though, although barely.
Now the cousins I used to sit with at the kids table all have families of their own & probably have their own big table & kids table themselves today.
Sometimes, I’ll see them different times of year, other times I’ll go long stretches without seeing them at all.
Regardless though, they are like brothers & sisters to me (since I’m an only child) & we always have fun catching up or seeing each other, whenever we interact wherever.
Their spouses are no exception. They too feel completely like family & I enjoy talking with them.
This summer, I did need oxygen periodically, but wasn’t on it 24/7 yet. I admit I was a little bit unnerved at the prospect of their children seeing me & maybe feeling a little unsettled (especially since they’re very young). Yet, it was no big thing.
I could tell there were some looks of concern from time to time. I had to have the conversation with them as to what this was leading to, which was difficult. Yet, they all couldn’t have been more supportive when that news came out.
They all pitched in, had benefits of their own, or helped & donated to mine at the start of the month. Sometimes both. It really feels good to know that not only do my friends have my back, but my family does too.
That’s what I’m grateful for today. When it comes to support, I’m one of the lucky ones who has it in ample supply.