One of the things people do on this day is share memories. The present day is indeed worth celebrating, but there is something wonderful about sharing memories that reinforces the bond among family members. I realize some families have bad memories, and I have some myself. Today, we’re talking about the good memories.
After I was divorced in 1982, I started cooking Thanksgiving for my family. My brothers and parents were invited. I believe I usually had my kids for that holiday, I don’t remember being without them on Thanksgiving. It was a nice dinner, and we had fun. The fun really began when my kids were older (Frankie was 16, Nick was 12, Becky was 9), and we moved to our own house from the family home we had.
In 1987, I was able to purchase my own home, a nearly fifty year old raised ranch in an established neighborhood in Omaha. It was so exciting. With help from my youngest brother, Tim, and my son’s friend, Chuck, my kids and I moved. I even drove the U-Haul.
It was that year that we started the Thanksgiving tradition of putting up Christmas lights on the house. The boys were old enough to do it, and they took quite a bit of the day creating their version of Christmas lighting beauty. Some years, their fingers froze from the weather. Many more breaks were taken, inhaling the turkey smell and drinking hot chocolate. They strung lights, unrolled extension cords, and weighted down figures like they had done it all their lives. It was so fun to watch them see their vision come to life! Becky kept checking their progress, playing with our dog Shadow, and telling me Thanksgiving was her favorite holiday EVER! She was so funny. Not a month before, she told me Halloween was her favorite holiday ever. I love that girl. Always is happy with what is in front of her.
Once they were finished, we would continue in the house, watching football, cooking, laughing, and having fun. When we were finished with dinner, we would eagerly wait until darkness came and we would have a grand lighting ceremony. We lived on a dead end street, so we’d stand in the middle of the street, and cheer when Frankie plugged in the lights. We whooped and hollered, clapped, and congratulated the boys on a job well done. This is one of my favorite memories of all time. We really were a good, strong, single parent family. It was a lot of hard work, and I know I made a lot of mistakes, but I also did some things right. I do miss them a lot. They are all off on their own adventures, and I love that they are.
And you know what?? This was in the early to mid 1990’s, before cell phones. I do not have one photo of that whole event, or the others that followed in subsequent years. We repeated what worked. I hope my kids think of it as well, with a smile. So please, put your phones down. Your family is much more important than the football scores, the Kardashians, or your friend and you texting. Do that stuff tomorrow. Soak in your families today. We’re cooking, only one of our five is coming for dinner with her husband and two kids, and we’re going to have fun. You have a fun day, too.
Thank you for reading, and please come back tomorrow. I’m going to tell you about all the money we save on Black Friday. You’ll love it. Like and comment, you get two chances to win the $50 Visa Gift Card I’m giving away to one lucky winner. Honoring the end of NaNoWriMo. And we’re going to celebrate me making it to 50,000 words. There’s no looking back now! See you then.