Thanksgiving has always been a special time for me; not only being a time for giving thanks, but also a time for remembering the past. While many of my memories have faded with time, I can often recall holiday get-togethers and how wonderful they were. I don’t think that I always appreciated them at the time; to a child, Thanksgiving is little more than a parade and a turkey, but I am very grateful that I got to experience such wonderful times with my family.
My mother always put careful care into ensuring that Thanksgiving dinner was just perfect. When I was younger, I remember her flustrated railing for me to just get out of her kitchen, because I always managed to somehow get in her way. Over time, however, I slowly graduated up to peeling potatoes and the curse of trying to peel and chop up rutabega (well, we call them turnips, but apparently people in the US call them rutabegas). I even managed to cook a turkey once or twice, but not without my mother eyeballing and hovering to ensure I did it right.
These days, we usually go down to my mother’s clubhouse, where they have a big pot luck Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a lot less bother for my mother and we don’t end up with more food than we’ll ever eat. Nevertheless, I still think back to earlier years and have to smile at the events. It felt only right to celebrate them with a funny little poem that reveals a hint of the Thanksgiving hustle and bustle and my wonderful mother’s quirky personality.
Remembering Thanksgiving at Home: A Poem
Halloween is over and the candy’s given away
So onward we trudge, towards Thanksgiving day
With yams to sweeten and turkey to baste
Bustling ’round the kitchen, the women make haste
Husbands and children watching parades and football
Occasionally, for a drink, they’ll place a call
Because the kitchen, for now, is the cook’s domain
Enter it now and you’ll be in pain.
There’s potatoes to peel and potatoes to mash
Get in Mom’s way and your toes may get smashed.
“Get out of my kitchen,” she snarls and growls
Sending curious children running with fearful howls.
The rutabega is forever my curse to cut
It’s amazing, the things that we’ll put in our gut
All covered with wax and as hard as a rock
I bang it and saw it and chop on the block.
Green bean casserole and the scent of pumpkin pie
Mother growls lovingly, “Touch it and die,”
Across the diningroom table, a cloth so pristine
And the silver, so shiny, it has a mirror-like sheen
Each table place is set with loving care
And a folded cloth napkin for every chair.
Gherkins on the table and pickled beets
Homemade cranberry sauce is a special treat!
And at last, there’s a call for the kids to wash up
And for father to come, for there’s a turkey to cut.
Everyone takes their seat and then oohs and awws
Then all bow their heads with dramatic pause.
For the bounty before us, our family and health;
We thank the Lord for all this wealth.
Then when our blessings are said and our thanks are given
Mom gives the call, “Now everyone dig in!”