Posted by: Modern Mom | November 22, 2011

Childhood Memories of Thanksgiving

This time of year I start to reminisce about Thanksgiving at my grandparents’ house in tiny Florence, Montana. I practically grew up there. It was a second home to me. I think about the big seventies style, split level house, sitting perched up above the driveway amid aspen trees and rock gardens. The surrounding wooded ten acres gave rise to my imagination and that of my cousins. We would run through the tall Lodgepole Pines and imagine we were wild horses, fairies, and other woodland creatures. We’d spend hours collecting rocks and shaping them into the outline of elaborate houses. My grandfather would cut logs into stools and chairs for us and the day would be taken up by our imaginations, dreaming of the houses we’d designed and acting our parts.

Then, after a long day of playing in the crisp, fall Montana air we’d be called in for dinner. And oh the smells! When we walked in the house we’d be hit with the warmth and slightly smoky smell of the wood fireplace downstairs. As we mounted the stairs the wonderful smells of my grandmother’s cooking wafted down to us, drawing us upward to the kitchen. The golden turkey, the delicious sweet yams, fluffy mashed potatoes dripping with butter and turkey gravy, savory stuffing, and my favorite, the relish tray with my grandma’s homemade sweet pickles and dilled beans. I remember the excitement and the buzz in the kitchen growing louder as we approached. It was always a beautiful spread. My grandmother was an amazing cook.

Then would come the laughter. That distinct laugh that all the women on my mother’s side have. Nobody else laughs like that. The big boisterous laugh that is contagious to all within earshot. And we’d hear a chorus of three of them, my grandma, my mom, and my aunt, echoing down the stairwell at us. Nothing made me happier than to hear them all together. We all knew we were in for a feast of wonderful food, story telling, and lots of laughter around our big family table.

Thinking about all of this as the air changes and I start smelling Winter on the wind and big farewell to Fall, makes me think of my dear grandparents. How I miss them, and that house, and all the wonderful sounds and smells and memories it held for me. I’m so thankful for the time I had with them and the memories I still hold so dear. Thanksgiving, however, was my very favorite time with them.

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