As Thanksgiving approaches I think of Thanksgivings past. I especially think of my brother Jimmy, one of my best friends from my childhood Phyllis, and Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant”. Although we don’t call or see each other often I know the three of us will be tuned in to listen to “Alice” around noon Thanksgiving Day. There’s usually a phone call to each of them either before or after the folk song, while juggling meal preparation.
Thanksgiving is a lonely holiday for me. My children spend this holiday with their father. I have periodic spells of sadness that we do not share this meal, the Thanksgiving meal together, then get over it quickly as I recall the “we don’t eat turkey”, “I hate mash potatoes”, “yuck”, “can’t we have something else” protests from children who are clearly ungrateful.
I’m sure I shouldn’t look at their meal preferences as ‘ungratefulness’ and just be thankful they are not sitting at my table to see the disgust on their faces. To cook the big Thanksgiving feast for two leaves plenty of leftovers. Fred and I will be enjoying our turkey sandwiches on freshly baked bread all weekend long. It’s something we look forward to.
I do miss the crowded table, the silly things kids say, and the love of family around Thanksgiving. So, once again I invited Fred and I to share Thanksgiving dessert at my brother’s house.
Early in the week, Jimmy started it. He posted his facebook status as “You can get anything you want”. Both Phyllis and I followed with status posts of “Alice”. I even changed my political interest from “Help Us!” to “Remember Alice” not that anyone would notice… “but if everyone” did that… I didn’t need to make those phone calls this Thanksgiving Day. I knew we were all remembering. We were in harmony with one another and Arlo.
Fred and I arrived at my brother’s house around seven with the traditional apricot bars. The place was a mess, curtains torn down from the windows: blame the animals or the kids. My grown up nieces didn’t touch the much, loved apricot bars this year. They only sought out approval of their vegan pies. Dorrie explained the absence of curtains from the windows as the result of leaving five children alone, pretty pathetic, as their ages are 9-21. She then apologized, laughing, “I would have invited you but we didn’t even want to be here.”