Once upon a time there was a family who celebrated Thanksgiving on a farm. So many family members attended that two tables were needed to sit everyone. There was so much food, two tables were need to hold it all. One of the seats was a church pew. There was much talking and laughter. There were bumping elbows and food stolen off plates. There was always one dish getting passed the wrong direction. Through the years we ranged in age from newborn to grandparents.
After a hearty meal, the table cleared off and the dishes cleaned and put away, there would be football and parade watching on TV. They would doze in and out of tryptophan comas.
Well rested, the boys would gather in the front yard for some pigskin tossing and tackling. “Down 42! Blue! HUT HUT HUT!” Just like they were a Pittsburgh Steeler or a Dallas Cowboy. On warmer occasions, the girls would participate and it would become a family game of two hand touch .
Today, while the table remains, not as many gather around it this Thanksgiving. My grandfather, having passed away many years ago, no longer steals food from my mother. My brother and his family are now in South Korea. I and my family are now in Canada. My cousins are scattered up and down the east coast from Florida to Maryland. Some are travelling the world. There is no more football in the front yard.
The times have changed and nothing seems as it was in the “good old days”. Our gratitude, however, remains healthy and constant. Forever are we thankful for those days together. Thankful we could share a table with so much family, with so much love. Differences were set aside for a few hours of food and fun. Quarrels were ignored in the spirit of the holiday.
The newborns are now great grandchildren. Grandparents now outnumber children. Blessings outnumber worries. And we’ll celebrate American Thanksgiving here.