Thankful for Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving 2013 just one week away, we are all dreaming of turkey and thinking of all that we have to be grateful for here at The Essex Reporter and Colchester Sun. One thing we all feel thankful for is the wonderful memories we’ve collected at Thanksgiving over the years.

Here are some of our favorites:

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Wendy:
Thanksgiving always conjures up images of my uncle Tom. We always had Thanksgiving at my grandparents’ house. We’d all gather around the big dining room table, Grannie and Papa, Ma and Dad, and me. Just when we were ready to start putting all of the steaming dishes on the table, uncle Tom would come in from hunting. I can picture him now in his tan LL Bean chamois shirt and red and black Johnson wool pants. He’d smell like fresh air and gun oil and he’d always have something for me that he found in the woods – a pretty stone, a feather, a pinecone. Everyone’s gone now except Ma and me, but every Thanksgiving I’m back in that cozy dining room, full of warmth, love and good food.
Another vivid Thanksgiving memory is the year my former husband and I raised everything for dinner except the cranberries: brussels sprouts, potatoes, butternut squash, onions, apples, herbs and turkey. The turkey was so large that we had to heat water for plucking it outdoors in a brand new galvanized garbage can since that was the only thing large enough to hold the amount of water we needed. Soon it was plucked and dressed and in the fridge – a beautiful 30 pounder ready and waiting for the next day’s feast. As Thanksgiving dawned, I stuffed the bird. Perfection. Then, to my horror, I found it was too large to fit in the oven! My husband, an engineer, came to my rescue by partially boning the bird. With the breastbone removed the turkey fit in the oven (barely). It came out looking like golden brown road kill, but everyone agreed it was the best turkey ever.

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Kelly (March):
Last year, I blogged about my family’s worst Thanksgiving disaster: when the dining room table shattered seconds after the last dish was set and we were left with a beautiful, inedible feast sprinkled with glass. I wouldn’t say that’s my favorite Thanksgiving memory, but it certainly involved my favorite thing about holidays in the March household: lots of laughs. It wasn’t a funny situation. The meal took hours to prepare, food and money went to waste, the carpet was a mess—the list of negatives goes on and on. But we found a way to see the humor in it as we worked together to clean up the mess, a way to be grateful that none of us were sitting at the table when it collapsed and a way to be genuinely ecstatic when we finally realized that NONE of the desserts were on the table when it imploded.

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Jason:
Thanksgiving memories always involve a group of camp alumni getting together to play football in the rain, snow, mud or, on occasion, a nice dry day in a Boston park. For most it is the only football game we will play all year, and as such there is a double bottom line. One is scoring points and the other is trying to make sure no one gets hurt. But there have been injuries. Hopefully its just a bump or bruise and we all get to enjoy playing a little in the morning, watching a little football in the afternoon, then having great Thanksgiving dinner.

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Kelly (Malone):
Thanksgiving has and always will be my favorite holiday. I love it. There is something about gathering around a table to eat with all your favorite people right before the chaos at the end of the year. My favorite memory is of the Thanksgiving I lived in New Zealand. It was just my Mum and I, middle of the summer, sitting down for a huge meal of all the hearty favorites: turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls and apple pie.

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Miles:
When I was younger, we would travel to my grandparent’s place for Thanksgiving. I always loved getting to see all of my cousins in one place. We all live a lot closer together now, but each year we still sit proudly at the ‘kid table” with the newest cousins of the bunch.

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Chris:
My favorite Thanksgiving memory is of my father camping out at the Thanksgiving table for eight hours straight.

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Sharon:
One year my best friend gave me a Thanksgiving card because I didn’t believe people actually gave them out. On the front, she had cut out our faces from a photo and made pilgrim bodies out of construction paper. We even had traditional pilgrim hats. I laughed so hard when I read it and it’s still hanging on my bedroom wall at home.

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Here’s to another year of happy Thanksgiving memories!