Tonight concluded the third Thanksgiving dinner of three nights.
Now, it’s not that unusual for my family (and most especially me) to not have very “orthodox” holidays.
– Of the last 3 Thanksgivings before this one, I was out of the country for two of them.
– Of the last 5 or so, we haven’t had Thanksgiving dinner at home.
– Of those not at home, most were at restaurants, and I did not end up eating turkey (I know, I know, blasphemous. I think the pilgrims will forgive me though. I know the turkeys will.)
– And my family doesn’t argue at Thanksgiving. I always hear stories of family arguments and whatnot, and my family doesn’t have those (as most of our dinners are usually quite small, 5 people max, more often just 4)
So have three Thanksgiving dinners in a row? I can take that in stride. But what happened at them was different.
As my family is very small (only my parents, brother, and me) we’re the type of family that calls 4th-cousins-twice-removed just ‘cousins’ and non-relations ‘aunt’ and uncle, etc.
So we went to visit our ‘Aunt’ in Palm Springs for dinner at her club. We’d eaten with her a couple years ago and decided to keep her company once again.
Much to our surprise when we show up and there’s 11 of us for dinner! A much larger party than we anticipated. But no worries – we’re a friendly, talkative bunch.
And it turned out there were some others at the table who were just as talkative, only it turned out they were talkative about Politics.
Yes that’s right. My first Thanksgiving dinner full of arguments and it has to be political arguments.
So I kept my head down and enjoyed my
turkey prime rib and pumpkin pie apple pie.
One of my cousins was coming into town the next day, and she recently moved to Israel, so we decided to stay an extra day to see her.
Now the reason she moved to Israel was to join the Israeli Army.
Needless to say there was more political talk (though my cousin and I kept out of that and instead talked about her cool stories.)
And then my brother’s girlfriend got upset that “everyone only talks about Israel” and dragged my brother away for a walk.
So more political arguing and family splitting up.
And then today, my mother cooked a turkey dinner for just our family and my brother’s girlfriend.
How was this unusual?
Well, my mother cooked! And I mean real cooking: her grandmother’s gravy recipe written on faded and torn parchment, with her mother’s stuffing recipe, and father’s recipe for cooked turkey. A legit, legit Thanksgiving meal! (And wonderfully delicious!)
No political talk. My typical family dinner – just a couple days late.
So three dinners, three days, and a bit of what I’m not used to. But like Thanksgiving is supposed to do, it brought my family together – immediate, extended, and created – and made me remember why I’m thankful for family.
For the ups and downs, the headaches and laughter.
For them being there, for their support, and for their love.