It's the traditions and memories.
My Thanksgiving starts with making my vegetarian food in the morning. Last year, it was Middle Eastern fare, and tomorrow will not be too different. Seems to be my new tradition.
The parade is on in the background and I am waiting to see any Muppets or Sesame Street characters (mainly, my beloved Oscar) or a performance from Spamalot (which is closing in January, so probably won't be a part of it this year).
Then I watch the National Dog Show, looking for the Schipperke (pronounced "Skipperkey"). There aren't many dogs like mine 'round these parts, so whenever I get to see one, it's cool. Last year, the Schip placed second in the Non-Sporting Group, so I received lots of excited phone calls. "Bailey almost won!"
Apart from my little traditions, my love for Thanksgiving revolves around the memories. My family (mom's side) gets together at my Aunt Carol's in Wickliffe every year. We have the best Thanksgiving in-jokes, guaranteed to make us laugh year after year. It's also fun & games day. We eat, we play board games.
Gramp carves the turkey
The good-natured teasing starts early:
The Pumkin Pie
We tease my Uncle Al mercilessly about pumpkin pie. He can't stand the stuff! When he was dating my Aunt Carol - (almost 30 yrs ago), my Gram cut him a huge piece and he choked it down - gagging the whole time. All to impress the future in-laws. Now that's love!
The Turkey I am offered the platter of turkey many times - ha ha >:P
The usual suspects are Uncle Al and Gramp. I have been a vegetarian since grade school. Get with the program, people!
The Deviled Eggs
We double and triple check that my aunt put out the deviled eggs. She forgot to put them on the table one year (really was funnier than it sounds!) and it's a running joke now. Sometimes it even gets mentioned on other holidays.
My uncle says grace - nothing elaborate, just a quick heartfelt blessing. My brother and I try not to laugh. We are not terribly close....until that 30 seconds every year. It's completely unfunny, but we're both beet red, ready to explode. It's bad. We're going to hell.
Lee Harvey Oswald
We were having a discussion one year at Thanksgiving dinner about the Kennedy assassination, which happened really close to Thanksgiving. I believe my dad was home from the service at the time, and watching the coverage with my grandpa. When Oswald was shot live on TV, my grandpa exclaimed "That son of a bitch shot Oswald!" We had never heard that story before for some reason, and it was the funniest thing ever.
This story still makes my stomach hurt from the laughter. My aunt was out taking a walk - I think it was on election day one year. Some lonely old lady was out in her yard and started talking to my aunt. My aunt felt bad for her, so stood there and let the old lady talk. The next thing she knew, she was invited in to meet Mr. Ponti, because he liked meeting new people.
My aunt went in for some reason, with her eyes darting around looking for a weapon in the house she could use in case someone came out and attacked her - she didn't know who this lady was or who Mr. Ponti was. Turns out, Mr. Ponti was a turtle that the lady talked to like it was a person. It was out of character for my aunt to go into a stranger's house, but totally worth it for the crazy story.
In recent years, we've played Balderdash and Cranium. My mom calls the former "Bangladesh" and retires to the bathroom with pen and paper when she can't think of an answer.
(In mom's world, George Harrison had a Concert for Balderdash.)
In the past several months, our official game has become Apples to Apples, but I will admit my favorite is Pictionary because I am more artistically-inclined than the rest of my family. And I really like to win!
This year, Gramp has had a lot of minor problems, which because of his age, have left him going in and out of the hospital. He went in again on Sunday for what could just be the flu. We're not sure if he will be released today. My brother was injured a few weeks back and still in severe pain, so Thanksgiving won't be what it usually is, but it sure was fun reliving the memories.
I'll let you know if any goofy new traditions or crazy stories happen tomorrow....