A Different Kind of Thanksgiving Slice of Life

Thanks to Two Writing Teachers for hosting Slice of Life Tuesday.  Please visit their site to read and comment on other slicers' posts.

This year will be a little different for us as we celebrate Thanksgiving.  In the past, we've always been surrounded by lots of family.  I grew up sitting at the kids' table in my grandmother's house with my  cousins and siblings.  It was never quiet...the day was always filled with laughter and raucous noise.  We joked about Grandma's jello salad (always red jello with cup up pears).  What WAS her secret recipe?   Pop was  in charge of mashing the potatoes.  There was something about his technique.  They were so delicious.  Grandma's stuffing was to die for.  She tore up bread 2 days before Thanksgiving and let it set out to get stale.  She added eggs, sage, butter, broth, celery, and onion.  A little taste, a few shakes of salt and pepper, another taste, until she deemed it perfect.  And perfect it was.  I still make her recipe and remember her as I toss the ingredients together.  Pop always got the gizzards and one of the drumsticks (he was first to be served, being the patriarch of the family). The cousins, John and Doug, were in charge of cleaning the roaster.  My sisters and I taunted them, glad to not have that nasty job.  Being girls, we were stationed upstairs helping the women clean up the huge mess.  The evening ended with the rest of the family piling into Grandma's house for dessert.

I love being surrounded by family on the holidays.  It was our first Thanksgiving as a married couple, eating dinner with our landlord in Virginia that made me realize that I didn't want to live so far away from our family in Ohio.  As soon as the school year ended, we packed up and moved to Columbus, smack dab in the middle of Ohio between our two sets of parents.  Since then, my table has overflowed with friends and family.

A gift from one of my students...I'm sure it will be gone before we get to the big day.  
This year, though is different.  It will just be the my husband and me with the three kids .  Will I miss the confusion?  I'm not sure.  However, we decided that this is the year to take a break; take a breather, and focus on our little family.  I'm waiting anxiously for my two older ones to arrive home amidst the spitting snow outside.  They will take over my kitchen...Zach is the bread baker, the girls will be making cheesecakes.  (Yes, that was a plural...cheesecakes for 5 people).  I will be in heaven working in the kitchen alongside my kids.  The house will be filled with the divine smells of Thanksgiving, the joking and laughter of my kids who are best of friends, and lots of leftovers.  (I mean really, how much cheesecake can you eat in one day?).

Next year, I'm sure we'll be back to hosting the grand holiday again.  For now, though, I'm going to savor this time together and enjoy being with my little family.

How will you be spending the holidays?


  1. This sounds like a great change of pace. Tuvia is sending me off to enjoy an overnight with some of my family. He has no connection to Thanksgiving. Now New Year's Eve, he's all about that night!

  2. You have painted a clear picture of each scene of loving family togetherness. Moving away from the large family gathering can be a good thing if it is what you choose to do. I know you will have a wonderful day. Enjoy!

  3. Like you my house has been the family gathering spot but this year it will be a little group of four. I am working hard to not over cook. What do I leave out?

    Enjoy your family time. Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Making memories is what holidays are all about, whether you have the entire family or just your own. Sounds like it will be a great gathering. I will be hosting the meal, as usual. Someday I want to be the guest, not the chef.

  5. Love the scene you created - the essence of Thanksgiving! Have lovely celebration, Julie!

  6. I can almost smell the cheesecakes baking at your house! Most of my extended family is gathering at my niece's house this year. I am in charge of mashed potatoes. It will be fun to be around small children! Happy Thanksgiving to your family!

  7. Your earlier memories sound like mine, too, Julie-good times those, even the jello salads! And this smaller Thanksgiving sounds like mine this week. I'll be with my daughter, son-in-law & the grand-girls. It will be nice to have the small group, eating well & relaxing later, playing & watching football. Just nice to be together! Happiest of Thanksgiving to all of you! (May I please have a piece of cheesecake?)

  8. Sounds like you will have a really special, albeit different holiday this year. Enjoy the quiet! And the cheesecakes!

  9. I loved reading your memories and the scene you created! It took me back to my grandmother's house (just down the street from ours) and large gatherings we enjoyed there. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


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