“Normal is just an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” – Morticia Addams
Growing up, Thanksgiving for me was always a simple but fun holiday. We never went to anyone’s house or had a bunch of family over. It was always just me, my parents, and my Aunt Mary and my Uncle Richie. Small but sweet….and we loved it! Even though it was only just the 5 of us, we always went all out! I would help my Mom make my grandmother’s stuffing recipe for the turkey and my aunt and uncle would bring over pie and Carvel soft serve ice cream for dessert …. or if we were REALLY lucky….maybe some Junior’s cheesecake and rugelach. (Mmmm…those were the EXTRA special Thanksgivings!) For us Thanksgiving wasn’t just a meal…it was an event! And an event we all looked forward to all year, every year!
But all of that changed once my uncle passed away, followed by my aunt just two years later. Their loss was devastating. Even all of these years later, their presence is still greatly missed and always will be. For us, Thanksgiving has just never been the same without them to share it with. But life has to go on and we have done our best to still make the best of the holiday…albeit….in a somewhat non traditional way.
My boyfriend now makes the turkey (heck, the man likes to cook and he’s good at, too. So if he wants to clean and cook the 12 lb frozen dead fowl offering I bring home after waiting outside my local DEALS store for an hour before they open, in the cold, so I can get it for only $5…..why should I deny him that pleasure?) The sides include Heinz Turkey gravy from a jar and Libby’s creamed corn from a can, stuffing that is now made by Stove Top and for dessert, an apple pie made with “love” (I’m sure) by Mrs. Smith…. only to be swiftly flash frozen and shipped to the stores….. to then be baked with “love” in warmth of my oven that still carries a hint of the scent of a freshly roasted discount turkey. And of course….as always….what would Thanksgiving be without cranberry sauce shaped like the can in the center of it all!
(It’s nice to know some things will NEVER change, at least!)
And I still have the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on the TV in the morning, like I have EVERY year for as far back as I can remember…..and will continue to until either it ends, or I do! There is some comfort in knowing that for as much as things might have changed, some things have stayed the same. But isn’t that they way life is?
We have to accept and roll with the changes that life hands us. We have to make the best with what we are lucky to still have and have been given. We have to hold onto to our fond memories of the past, as we try our best to continue to make new, good ones for the future.
Some people might cringe over what our Thanksgiving meal is like now, but you know what? It works for us! It’s different…it’s odd… but if it helped us to reclaim the holiday in some way, that’s all that matters. Sorta non-traditional has now become “traditional” for us. And so it should be for anyone who might not be able to share the day with those they would like to, or maybe can’t afford to have the meal they would like to make, or whose lives have changed over time and might be feeling badly because their Thanksgiving wont be the like the ones they were always used to before.
Whether it’s Thanksgiving or anything in life…..be open to creating a new “normal” when the time comes for the old one to find it’s special place in your memories, in your heart, and in your past.
While Thanksgiving moves to the forefront of our minds once the calendar page turns to November, it was only just a few days ago that candy was being passed out to little princesses and pirates that arrived at our doors with their treat bags in hand, hoping our large grown up hands would dispense generous amounts of Snickers and Kit Kats to them. It’s become a tradition for me for the past few years to make a video on Halloween of what my All Hallow’s Eve is like. Here is how it went this year, as I passed out my treats from my stoop dressed as Elvira (it was both fun and interesting, I tell ya!)
Until next time…..ta ta, toodles…and happy gobble gobble!