Thanksgiving 2011 has come and gone. I ended up having three celebrations this year with family…. On the weekend before thanksgiving, my side of the family (plus hubby) took the three-hour drive north to visit my grandfather for the family Thanksgiving. My Auntie and cousins were there, too. I helped mamma create the traditional feast and for the first time did about half of the work. Meep! There is a lot of work going into that one feast. It was kind of funny, though, since we were working on the deviled eggs and couldn’t stuff them fast enough. It was a nice dinner, and it was great to see family. At the same time, though, it was sad. This trip north marked three years since I had last seen my grandmother, and I spent some of the weekend in quiet reflection. I remembered quite a few great times spent together, and couldn’t help but tear up a bit. I really miss her.
Thanksgiving day I helped my mother-in-law cook the dinner here at the house. I am grateful for the in-laws for letting hubby and I stay in their home while I look for work. We made a delicious stuffing with apples, craisins, and walnuts in it. I had never had something like that before, so it was a new experience that I was glad to have tried. When we had our early dinner, we made sure to first serve up a spirit plate.
Yes, a spirit plate. It is a plate that is made up for those who have passed on, or who may not have made it home for the holiday. You usually put a little bit of everything on a plate, and then place it out for them. One tradition is to have a specially-set table for them, complete with napkins, candle, silverware, etc. A Native tradition is to set it outside so that the spirits can enjoy it in peace, and perhaps share with the local wildlife. Thanksgiving day we did the latter, and as I carried out the plate I thought of my daddy’s mother, my mom’s parents, my uncle, and all of the people who have taken the journey across the rainbow road. Again, I teared up. I really missed them this holiday.
After that, we went up to my parent’s house (only about 10-15 minutes away), and had dessert. We played a ridiculously long game of monopoly (which I left early…after 4 hours I was just done) and then did a family craft together. I loved the crafting part, and seeing my family.
Overall, it has been a reflective season. I missed people who have passed on, and enjoyed time with the people that are still here. I am very thankful for a home, a good relationship with my in-laws, and a life full of love. And I give thanks for my life every day.
I did, however, get annoyed with the fact that poor Thanksgiving gets overlooked. With all the hype over “Black Friday” and Christmas, the holiday of thankfulness is swept away by commercialism. I actually shouted about it in the store when Halloween ended and Christmas stuff went out. I saw that and asked “Where’s Thanksgiving?!” really loudly.
I am thankful for you, dear reader, for peeping in from time to time and making sure I am still throwing my thoughts into the void for you to ponder.