Escape with Eddie
On Thursday we will celebrate Thanksgiving. This year, I will be in Texas visiting with my sister, Ginnie Lyn. We haven’t celebrated this holiday together for many, many years. It was the death of her son which brings us together this year. Yet, in the middle of sadness, there is also great thankfulness. We will talk together and celebrate Daryl’s life.
I always approach Thanksgiving with memories of my childhood — the sight of the groaning table in my grandmother’s dining room; the china laid out; and the best silverware gleaming on the table. We always used cloth napkins, too. This was one of those occasions when no amount of begging would be rewarded with morsels of food. After breakfast was over, it was fasting until the big dinner.
I would trot over to the neighbors' to see how things were going there. Andy Betz, Marilyn Day and Esther Sellman were my best Wesley Avenue friends. We would meet outside on one of our porches and discuss the progress of dinners in our respective homes. All of us were starving as only the young can be. We would wander past our various kitchens only to be told, “You have to be patient. It takes a long time to bake a turkey with dressing.”
So, off we would go in search of something to do to pass the time. Finally, my mother would call me home. She never yelled our names. Kelly, Ginnie Lyn, and I would respond to her ringing an India tong bell. The tones could be heard all over the neighborhood. When we heard the bell, we knew dinner was on final approach to the table. (I wonder about the connection to Pavlov’s dogs.) We’d race home, have our faces and hands washed, and would sit at the children’s table. I always felt left out, seated with my brother and sister, away from the adults.
Thanksgiving was always the same, as predictable as Sunday School. Of course there was turkey with giblet dressing; mashed potatoes with gobs of butter; sweet potatoes drowning in butter, brown sugar and covered with marshmallows; peas and carrots together; cole slaw with Tokay grapes, seeded and halved served as the salad course. The condiments were olives, pickles, cranberry sauce (always the canned type cut into turkey shapes), celery sticks and carrots sticks. There were Parker House rolls, Mogan David wine, and finally, pumpkin pie. It was the real deal.
The wine glasses had no stems, they were little green and pink depression glass, table wine glasses. I still have a couple of them in my cupboard, grape clusters etched in their sides. My grandmother also had other special glasses. They, too, were wine glasses. However, they were clear glass with painted lines on them. I often wonder what ever became of them. They were clearly European in design and were special to my grandmother.
What was special about Thanksgiving was that each of us children was also given a shot glass size taste of the Mogan David wine. I smile as I think of the many wine varieties today and wonder how that could have been so special. Yet, it was.
Thanksgiving is not just a day for thanks. For all of us, it has meaning far more important than just the day itself. It is a time for us to come together and be thankful for all of our blessings, even those that are painful; life is not always pleasant. Yet, we live in a country that allows us to be who we are, say what we believe, and worship as we choose. We do not live in a perfect society, but we do live in a free society.
It is with pride that I am thankful for the place we live. I am thankful we are all recovering from the flood that caused so much damage and heartache. I am thankful to all you readers that enjoy our newspaper. You are all very special people, living in a special part of our great country. I am also thankful for the fine lady who has joined our paper — Mrs. Lois Johnson, I am thankful for you. You helped me to learn how to write the news. You are one special lady to me. Thank you.