Thanksgiving Means the Kitchen, for Starters

thanksgivingWoke at 4:30 or so this Thanksgiving morn. Reminds me of when I was a kid, how my mother always got up alone to start the cooking. From my bed, I remember the sounds: the pans she pulled out, the hiss and plunk of water filling pots, the click and pop of the stove as she lit the gas burners on the stove. Gradually came the smell of butter and onions. Real friendly-like, they’d seep their ways through the cracks of my shut door, whispering, “Stuffing.” And finally, if I lingered long enough, the first smell of turkey, harbinger of noise in the quiet of early morning.

We hosted Thanksgiving always. And Christmas. The extended family. The drinks, empty glasses, ice, booze bottles, beer and wine soldiers fallen. The smoke!  I’m sure, unbeknownst to myself, I smoked a pack a day on holidays. The food before, during, after. Somewhere in the background, music. Always football, outdoors (us) then indoors (the who-cares Lions and the hated Cowboys).

Eventually would come the road race at 10. Just under 5 miles. The Irish Mafia then, and later the Kenyan one. It mattered little to me. I ran to make room for more food, to enjoy finishing, to wave to the crowd lining the streets, to soak in the strain of bagpipes. When I came home, people were preparing the house and the TV was on… a parade no one ever watched, as tradition dictated. I showered, hot on my numb-with-cold skin, and later, always took a crack at a bag of mixed nuts, unshelled. Gradually that storm door opened — the steamed glass on it showing the first shadow of guests arriving.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers. Since this blog’s inception, that would be seven of you. God bless us, every seven!

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