Going back to the first Thanksgiving I can recall, the atmosphere was festive and vibrant with a lot of turkey zombies walking around, drooling on themselves until they got fed. In the background you could hear the announcers on television giving play-by-play of the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins football game. My little brother would be hanging out in the kitchen with mom and whomever else was helping out in the kitchen. It was one of the coveted locations in the house because mom always let us sneak a taste or two.
Dinner itself always started out orderly and pleasant, but about the time folks were ready for seconds, the carnage had begun to take shape. Slowly but surely, the warm turkey began to do its magic and some would get sleepy. Now, where I'm from, you can't eat if you're asleep so the struggle to stay awake was real; as was the grouchiness. Mom could sense it rising and she put a stop to it because on Thanksgiving Day, she was the last one you wanted to anger. After all, she may not let us have pie. And we have to have pie.
I suppose what I miss the most is how close we all seemed to feel on that one day. It was about giving thanks and celebrating the family and how far we'd come over the previous year. My son Matt and oldest daughter, Heather were always a hoot to have around during the holiday. When my youngest son, Mason, and my youngest daughter, Madison, were baptized into the Gluttony Family, we had it down to a science and timing was everything. Now, we're all spread out across the doggone country and it stinks. My oldest has his own family now; starting his own traditions with his wife Kristina and my grandson, Rylan.
I remember the carnage like yesterday and one time being freaked out over what the turkey looked like when it was stripped of its yummy meat. It was a skeleton and I remember saying, "What the hell is that?"
After I had my mouth washed out with soap, my mother explained the process in detail. I think I can still taste that soap.
The devouring of food is particularly delightful, however, it pales in comparison to the memories made and the experience of family. Though my memory continues to give me fits, the feeling of love and passion permeates the fabric of my being. I hope that is the case for you too. Take a look around today while you're eating and just watch everyone. Soak it up and let it overcome you. Food will come and go, but memories of life are eternal.
Of course, that's just my gluttonous opinion and I could be wrong...but I seriously doubt it.
Your Thanksgiving Gorilla