Thanksgiving evokes deep memory and raises questions about what we are celebrating, now that we know the stories we were told about the Pilgrims and the Indians are not the whole truth about America’s early history. I thought about all of this as I prepared for Thanksgiving this year and cleaned up for days afterwards.
Although I do not live in America, I have celebrated Thanksgiving with a group of friends in my home in Greece many times during the past twenty years.
For me, Thanksgiving brings up happy memories of family gatherings in a time when my extended family, including Mom and Dad, brothers, great-aunts and great-uncles, aunts and uncles, cousins and second cousins, gathered at Grandma’s to eat turkey with all the trimmings. Grandma Lena Marie Searing Bergman was not only a great cook but also an excellent hostess. Her tables were laden with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, biscuits with butter and homemade jam, corn and green peas, pumpkin and mince pies, and also with crystal, china, and silver, and flowers from her garden.
Uncle Emery, my grandmother’s older brother, told stories about life on the farm in Michigan, where they had a pony and he lost parts of his fingers in a threshing machine. We children played croquet in the garden and ran races all around it while our mothers, aunts, and grandmother laid out the feast and cleaned up afterwards. These were the blessed days before television and televised football games came to dominate holidays in the United States. My memories are laced with the sadness of knowing that those days are in the past. Continue reading “Thinking About Thanksgiving by Carol P. Christ”