One of my favorite photos of Grandma Gem and me was taken on Thanksgiving back when I was probably 18 or 19. We didn't know it then, but we would only have a few years left together on this earth. I don't remember much about that Thanksgiving day...just that the whole family gathered at Mom and Dad's farmhouse to feast together. The picture was taken as Grandma and Grandpa were getting ready to drive back to their house.
It must have been a cold evening...because Grandma and I were both bundled up in winter coats. Looking right at the camera, she offered her usual happy beautiful smile. Her giggling eyes twinkling as they so often did. I snuggled right up next to her, holding tight to her arm with a big grin on my face too.
Grandma loved loved loved being with her family. She adored all of us and truly enjoyed our time together. I love that picture so much because it captured us together in a moment of love and happiness and it truly makes me happy to think about Grandma in those times. I adore her still today and every time I look at that photo...or even think about it...it makes me smile.
During the years we lived Way Out West...we enjoyed a tradition of supporting the Youth Mission Fundraiser at our church. Early every Thanksgiving morning, the teens and a few awesome supporting adults head to the church and make a huge breakfast feast with pancakes, eggs, sausage, and bacon. One year our Scientist participated in cooking and serving the delicious meal even though he didn't go on that mission trip.
So every year we lived there, our family went to the Thanksgiving breakfast and supported our church's youth group. I always loved it. Hubby and I would get up and get the turkey all prepared and in the oven, then as a family we would head off to gather with our church family for a pre-Thanksgiving feast before our at-home one. I have very special memories of those breakfasts - especially the one that our Scientist cooked and served to us. We all really enjoyed that tradition.
Today I was thinking about the very first Thanksgiving dinner I ever cooked. It was our first Thanksgiving living Way Out West far from our Midwest Family and we knew we wouldn't be able to travel back to have Thanksgiving with them. It was just going to be the two of us...so we invited our neighbors...and then I started calling all the great cooks I knew to gather some recipes.
I remember being so nervous...the whole Thanksgiving dinner was on me and what if I messed it up? Thankfully I pulled it off! That year is now a great memory of the year I learned how to cook a turkey. And it is also when I began my quest to perfect one of Hubby's favorite dishes - Holiday Dressing.
Over the years I have made both turkey and dressing many times and I think I have become pretty adept at both. I know Hubby loves my Holiday Dressing and is quite happy every time I make it. The last couple of years we have been able to enjoy Thanksgiving at Mom and Dad's again. The pressure has been off of me because Mom makes a great Thanksgiving turkey. She is a wonderful cook. She has asked me to make the dressing these past two years...and I don't know if I have "perfected" the recipe, but I am happy to make it.
I have really enjoyed a little trip down memory lane these past few days as I keep my focus on Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for these sweet memories. Writing about these memories has brought many many more special Thanksgiving memories to mind. I gratefully cherish them all.
And now...Just For Fun...because it's Friday:
Here's a photo of our new Thanksgiving flag that welcomes guests at our front door and Just For Fun....I'm sharing it with you today!