Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Memories

This time of year can be difficult. The stress of making the perfect Thanksgiving dinner falls on new and experienced cooks. Some of these dishes are only made once a year, so that really increases the pressure. While Thanksgiving is definitely about enjoying some delicious food, it's mostly about making some great memories.
I can remember Mom buying each piece of this set of china. The sets were being sold in the local grocery store. With each grocery purchase, you could purchase a piece of china at a discounted price. Mom and I worked very hard to get just enough pieces to debut the set at our Thanksgiving table that year. While we didn't have every piece, there was enough for the dinner table.
That dinner table had been used for years. While it was wooden, it had the most indestructible finished top. I think you could pour a gallon of water on it and it would never penetrate the wood. I remember laying my head on the cool surface when I was a child and crying with an ear ache. We played cards and Scrabble at that table. Decades of breakfasts and suppers sat upon it. At Thanksgiving, an extra leaf was added and it was covered with one of Grandma's white tablecloths.
This particular year, later referred to as the year of the china, Mom and I worked really hard to make sure the table was set 'just right'. I'll blame Mom, but it was probably my idea to take a picture of the 'set' table with the turkey in the center. After our photo shoot, we needed to move the table a little more to the center of the kitchen. Mom was on one end and I on the other when we picked up the table. That moment still plays like slow motion in my memories. Our beloved table, after decades of service, picked that moment to break in half. Mom and I gazed in horror as our brand new china began sliding toward the turkey in the center. We couldn't let go of the table and we couldn't grab the china. I'm not sure who screamed first, but the menfolk came running. Being men, they grabbed the turkey first. Mom and I screamed in unison 'the dishes, get the dishes!'. The only thing keeping everything from sliding to the floor was the tablecloth wrapped around the ends of the table we were still holding. It seemed like it took forever for those dishes to be moved. Mom and I just knew that they'd be chipped an broken before we had a chance to use them.
Well, not a chip or scratch could be found on any plate. I guess that is the mark of really good china! Mom cried over the broken table, but we borrowed one from Grandma for Thanksgiving dinner. After all the usual chaos of Thanksgiving, the food was wonderful. All of us together, eating on new china and a borrowed table, made for a perfect Thanksgiving. In the end though, it's the memory of us holding that broken table, laughing and crying, that still stands out after all these years.
Happy Thanksgiving!


KathyM said...

Great story Marge! Lots of drama with a good ending. May your Thanksgiving be wonderful this year.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Great post, Marge.... Glad none of the china was broken... I'm sure we all have those special Thanksgiving memories. I just remember my brothers coming home --and the family being together. My mother was an excellent cook --and our 'feast' was fabulous. She also got the good china out--and the table was set to perfection. Awe---great memories.

Have a great Thanksgiving. We are headed out of town to do some hiking--after a big turkey dinner.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your memories, I enjoyed reading this post.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Marge! :)

Anonymous said...

a beautiful story - thank you

Becky said...

Enjoyed very much reading... Thank you Margie for sharing! :)

Anonymous said...

These dishes are beautiful and I loved the story!