Thanksgiving memories…

Turkey Day is upon us.  Traditions, family and good times are all enjoyed.  As a kid we used to go to southern Illinois to my grandmother’s house every year.  It was our tradition.  Some years were pretty crazy with snow, others not so much.  I don’t remember to much about those days except bits and pieces.  I remember one year a really bad snowstorm had my brother and I riding in the back of the station wagon thinking that this was a cool ride, only later realizing how hard it was for my father just to keep the car on the road.  I remember going hunting with my dad, uncles and cousins.  And I remember lots of turkey.
After I got married, Thanksgivings morphed into going to my in-law’s place in southwestern Missouri.  Then it became MY turn to keep the car on the road in good weather and bad.  Memories from those times are a lot easier for me to recall.  I remember my wife and her sisters being part of the hoards that descend upon poor shopping centers early the next morning, while me and the rest of the guys slept in.  I became the cooker of the bird, as everyone loved my bacon-wrapped turkey.  One year one of the nephews was driving a riding lawnmower over a bunch of leaves and the mower caught fire.  We rushed out there to try and stop it but there was no hose nearby.  While one of the brother in laws tried to get 2 hoses together to reach, I ran out with a rake to try and move as many dry leaves away from the fire as I could, lest the whole 10 acres catch fire.  Now THAT would be memorable.  I managed to get most of the leaves away just as the guys got there with the hose.  It was also just in time for the tires to explode from the heat.  Now THAT was a blast.  Get it?  Blast?  OK, so I am not a comedian.
Over the last few years my families Thanksgivings have been in ‘flux’. We don’t go to Missouri anymore, and our oldest son and his wife often have to work hours that make family get togethers difficult.  One year we went and had it with my brother and his wife at his in-law’s place.  We know them well and have had many family outings together and it was a great time sharing the day with them as well.  In fact, at the time I am writing this, I am thinking of my sister in-laws father, Craig, who passed away Sunday morning from cancer.  I am thankful that we got to know Craig and that we were as welcome in his house as he was in ours. He was a good man, may he rest in peace.  Last year we took advantage of a rental house in FT. Meyers that was given to us for a week free by a former boss. It was an awesome trip and an awesome place, but we didn’t really do anything memorable. This year, when you read this we will be in South Carolina scouting houses for an eventual move.  Perhaps once we DO move, our house will be the destination for our children and we can have memorable Thanksgivings together.  We will see.
The one thing that has been constant in all those Thansgivings has been family.  I am a very blessed individual in that I have a family that I love and that loves me.  I am blessed with memories of those that can’t be or are no longer with us.  If you have family nearby or that you travel to see, I hope that you are able to spend time with them.  Cherish it, and any memories you make.  Shared experience make us truly rich, and as long as people live in our memories they are never truly gone.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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