Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Day Blues

Scotland is my home. It really is. Despite the horrendous weather, this place is where I have spent my entire married life and where I have born and raised my children thus far. This is my home.

But every year, on this day, more than any other day, I miss my other home. My first home. My home home.

It's harder on Thanksgiving than it is on Christmas or my birthday or anything like that, I suppose because it's the one holiday that isn't celebrated here. Even though certain holidays, like Christmas, are celebrated quite differently from how I celebrated them in America, at least they still happen and I've been able to adjust to the changes. But Thanksgiving means nothing here. No one gets how big it is, how important it is, how it's more my favourite day of the year than even my birthday and Christmas put together.

I feel more homesick every Thanksgiving than I do any other day of the year.

As I continue about my day here no differently than any other day, I can almost smell my mom's kitchen, waking up early to the turkey already in the oven, the smell of sage and sauteing onions and celery, and the bread crumbs of the stale bread for the stuffing. I can see every element on the stove burning red hot, and Mom trying to fit too many things into one oven. I can hear the electric mixer whizzing up the meringue for the pumpkin, chocolate, and coconut pies. I can hear the phone ringing off the hook and my Aunt Phyllis's loud voice through the receiver across the room asking about the arrangements.

And as I go on about my day as usual, I can see the first cars arriving at the house and my aunts coming in without knocking, dressed beautifully and smelling like perfume, with clanging bangles and clinking necklaces, followed by my uncles and cousins, carrying car-loads of food into the house, some hot and ready to be picked at under the tin foil, and some to be cooked just before serving. I can taste those buttered rolls and the sweet iced tea. I can hear my cousins sitting on the floor catching up with each other and my uncles and my dad on the couches with their feet up and hands behind their heads, laughing loudly (especially Uncle Jon), while the women finish up the last minute preparations. Then I can hear my Mamaw and Papaw coming in, Papaw with his old, dirty baseball cap, and Mamaw with her new dress suit.

As I get ready for bed on this night like any other night, I can see them all together right now, thanking God for this food and this fellowship, and then they will be digging in, filling sturdy paper plates, the kind with the three separate compartments, going for seconds, thirds, maybe even fourths before slicing into the pies. They will then all sit around the living room and the kitchen until the late hours of the evening, filling up periodically with cold turkey and reheated stuffing and mashed potatoes, but certainly no green bean bundles for those will have been finished before half the family even got their first helping. One by one they'll go home, hugs all around, and then the room will be quiet, and there might be a wee glass of wine to end the night with before turning to bed, bellies and hearts full, knowing tomorrow will be Christmas Tree Decorating Day.

But I'm not there.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave your comments here.