Thanksgiving MemoriesNovember 15, 2019 By Susan Nuyt Leave a CommentThis is my dad. He’s filled so many wonderful Thanksgiving memories throughout my entire childhood, and some of my adult years… along with a lot of his favorite choice pies that he baked– And might I say, they were the best!In this picture, he’s carving a turkey, on Thanksgiving Day. He probably cooked two. Idk. So many years ago, and I’m not so sure that I got to attend the Thanksgiving when this photo was taken. I love how my dad was, the beautiful qualities about him. And the times when we knocked heads, I got to where I appreciated those struggles between us–but much later on, as it does go… I think it was on both our sides–as parents and “the kids” grow apart and come back together again– even beyond years that are left; and then when there are no more years to go back home again. So as the years progress, those holiday memories do mean a bit more! What are yours? What do you like and cherish the most about your Thanksgiving memories?Here are a ‘few’ of mine:— We raised a flock of white turkeys one year. Some lived through the winter, some didn’t make it for the freezing temperatures and several Kansas blizzards. One in particular didn’t make it, for sure, because it became our Thanksgiving main course! It’s a good thing I didn’t make that one a pet. Even, though, I couldn’t sink my teeth into that meat of one of our snow-white turkeys! I opted for the turkey from the store on my plate. But I did have just one bite for my parents.We always dressed out our chickens that we raised in the spring months– so watching my folks from beginning to end, from the coop to the table, corral and cook a turkey that I used to wish I had let free— I look back at that scene and marvel at them even though I ironically still feel slight agony over the turkey. They worked so hard, and they cared so much in their provision.I think my mom had on three layers of plaid-cotton and wool clothing to keep warm–all mismatched due to farm life; and a pair of my brother’s old mud boots clumping around in turkey dung– with my dad hollering at her to meet him in the right direction– It was cold,and it was raining. I could not watch the beheading lol. I immediately felt enormous sorrow— remembering the blue coloring around the turkey’s eyes– darting, flashing looks at me– squawking though to scream as he flapped his wings, “Hey, little girl, throw a shovel! Throw shovel! SHOVEL!”“Not a rock?”My years of empathy began so early— from raising so, so many farm animals as well as many beloved pets through time.— The pies were of such a variety of flavors through the years. I think they covered all of them, every pie you could imagine. The fruit pies were my folks’ favorite kind, though.They even had a gooseberry pie on the table one year. Dad put lemon in it, even though gooseberries are tart. He still sweetened it up, but the lemon brought out a wonder. They doctored it up with thick cream, butter,spices and extract;granulated sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon.What people would say would not work, my parents always set out to prove them wrong–but not done in the attempt to show anybody up; just that they loved what they did to create and provide.If there was a flop of a pie, they immediately made one over again! No time to waste. I was there every time,fingers in dough,listening to every word my father spoketo me to do. My mother would correct me;my dad would say,aggravatingly,“Now, leave her alone;let her do it, she’s got to learn how to do it herself.”Butcher knives, included. His Navy knives. Mother taught me how to crimp the pie crust in perfect form,but I felt confined.I make them flawed and rustic,on purpose;but beautiful.Practical.[Have learned to culminate both internally, positively.]It evens out; both in the training of a child.You tend to teeter-totterbetween the two.But it turns outfair enough.Good enough.Enough. I got to enjoy my parents in those moments, just the three of us,together. They gave me that wealth, the kind that money could never purchase.And it was an educatedsplendor. So how did all of this happen–— It was because of my father,from his maternal grandmother. It meant everything to him to carry on traditions, wonderful holiday memories relived again and again…Not all of the holidays come together well as we age, and as families go about, in so many different directions. The memories of sweet times,[those priceless, precious memories] can bring you through a tough holiday years later. They are savored in those moments for a reason.