Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanksgiving on Baker Street

It's this time of year I start to crave turkey.
I know Thanksgiving is close and the anticipation is killing me. 
I can almost see myself standing it the kitchen, pulling the first bit of turkey skin off the meat and watching the steam pour through the new opening in the bird.
Now that's Thanksgiving to me.
That and the bacon green beans my grandmother used to make and my sister-in-law, Laura's stuffing.
It's the best in the world.
And then there's the pumpkin pie, on Thanksgiving no other pie will do.
It's easy to associate Thanksgiving with the food, however, it's more about family and traditions.
 It's funny to see how these things have slowly changed over the last 15-20 years. 
When I was a child we spent every Thanksgiving and Christmas and Easter and birthday dinner at my grandmother's house.
All the cooking was done there in the small kitchen on Baker street.
We went over early to help.
I opened cans of olives, scrubbed and peeled potatoes and cut the ends off the fresh green beans.
I helped fill pies and washed mounds of dishes when the feast was done.
The holidays could not get any better.
Then, when I was in high school, my grandfather passed away too young for any of our liking and things slowly changed.
Grandma moved away from the little red brick house on Baker Street.
Then she remarried and Thanksgiving was never the same again.
The holidays were shared with her new husband's family. All the food was brought over, already prepared.
Then I finished school and got on with my life. 
I spend two Thanksgivings in Canada, away from family, where it is celebrated in October and is barely more than an afterthought.
Canadians don't make a huge deal about Thanksgiving like we do here in the states.
There, boxing day is more of a big deal than Thanksgiving.
I still have not spent another Thanksgiving in California or with my grandmother.
When I returned from Canada, I moved to Utah within a few short weeks.
A few months later I married a local whose roots are so deep here that we'll never leave. 
Before I knew it, I was spending my first Thanksgiving with my new family.
Those first few years were an adjustment for me, finding how I fit in this new family.
We had millions of small nieces and nephews and they were very loud.
Lots of laughter and babies crying and there was a general sense of contented chaos.
But it was not Baker Street.
Now all my sisters live close and we like to have Thanksgiving with my family, too, so we trade every other year.
I love it, but I hate it.
I want to have it all, Thanksgiving with the Angels AND Thanksgiving with the Weavers.
I want my angel mother-in-law there and my sweet, now very old grandmother.
I wish there were a way to meld the Thanksgivings of my childhood with the ones I share now with my own children.
I wouldn't trade the Thanksgiving traditions I have with my own family now, but I'd give almost anything in the world to have just one more Thanksgiving on Baker Street.

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