Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. The days leading up to it were always filled with excitement and anticipation.
I grew up in Connecticut, while most of my relatives lived in New Jersey or on Long Island, New York. So we always traveled for the holiday. My brothers and I got used to road trips early on in our lives. We learned all sorts of games to keep us busy. Naming states of the different license plates we saw, I don’t think we ever saw all 50. Honestly, I think all our road trips helped me to be the avid reader I am today. Between learning to read road signs, license plates, maps ( we didn’t have gps back then), and the books I read on our trips.
We would usually stay at my Grandma Foley’s, which was one of my favorite places to go because two of my favorite people lived there, my Grandma and my Aunt Pat. They lived in Queens, NY and their house always reminded me of a Gingerbread house. I really don’t know why. It had a front stoop that I loved to sit out on and watch the coming and going of the neighborhood.
Grandma Foley always prepared the best meals! Breakfast, lunch, dinner, were all homemade. She also always had ribbon candy on hand and the tin cookies. She had pictures of all her children and her grandchildren all over her house. One of my favorite things about her house was the cookoo clock that hung on the wall of the landing leading upstairs. The gentle ticking of the clock was always oddly comforting. I could hear it in the living room where my brothers and I would sleep on the floor in our sleeping bags. Where Mcduff their dog would curl up with us.
We would bring Grandma and Aunt Pat with us as we traveled to my Uncle Bob and Aunt Margie’s house where the whole family would gather for a Thanksgiving feast!
To some it might have seemed chaotic, however for us it was pure enjoyment! The women generally helped prepare the food in the kitchen and there were many tables and chairs put together in a U shape festively decorated. The men usually were watching Football or sometimes played with us kids.
There were A LOT of us kids! We ran amuck through the house playing inside and outside. One game we played was hide and seek. We hid everywhere, even in the pass through fireplace from the kitchen to the dining room! ( it was never used as a fireplace) We played football outside and hockey in the street. There were even times we took the couch cushions and slid down the stairs on them!
I only saw my cousins a few times a year, however when we got together it was as if we were never apart! I still keep in touch with most of them. Now that we are older and have families of our own, we rarely get all together, except for funerals and weddings. We keep saying we are going to change that.
I think that will be my 2021 New Years resolution. Host our first ever family reunion, maybe we can take turns hosting it, since we all live all over the country now.
Every year though I reminisce about my childhood Holiday memories. I count my blessings that I was raised in such a loving and family oriented environment.
I love my family and can’t wait for Covid to be gone so we can gather together again. Till then they are all in my thoughts and prayers.