A place for my scribbles...poems, songs, stories, musings and ramblings.

A place for my scribbles...poems, songs, stories, musings and ramblings.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


This is from my old Myspace blog, written in November of 2008.  I woke up this morning thinking about my grandparents and all my family and remembered writing this the year we lost Grandmother.  Thought I would share.  Embrace, enjoy and appreciate your family today and every single day.



Current mood:nostalgic
Another Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone, and now we begin the countdown to yet another Christmas and another new year. I have been thinking a lot about my family...thinking about the distances that separate us and the inevitablity of change.

If you have followed my blogs, you have already heard about my grandparents who lived in the country in rural north Georgia and opened their home to their hordes of grandchildren each summer. That same home was also the Thanksgiving gathering place for about as long as I can remember. My mother was one of 5 siblings, and between them all they produced 13 children of their own. We were quite a large clan!

For most of my life, none of the family lived more than a 3 hour drive from the grandparents house. And so it was that every single Thanksgiving Day, bar none, the entire family gathered for the day at the old home place. Grandmother would cook the turkey and dressing and everyone else would bring food. We would have so much food! There would be stories and jokes (my uncles were not called the kings of corn for nothing!) The afternoon would usually devolve into the annual football game (or the Turkey bowl as we called it) which was my least favorite part of the day....partly because I just never liked sports much, but mostly because it usually ended up with somebody fighting or crying (not always the kids!) Granddaddy would end up napping in his recliner pretending to watch football on the tv while the ladies drank coffee and cleaned the kitchen, and the kids played and hoped the day would never end.

I moved away from that area 11 years ago this month. Over those years, Scott and I have only made it back up for Thanksgiving twice. But, even though I wasn't there each year, there was something about knowing that my family had something special that most families don't share these days. We lost Granddaddy about 8 years ago, but still the family gathered for Thanksgiving. Grandmother was bed-ridden for the last 3 years, but still they gathered. Again, if you have followed my blogs, you know that we lost Grandmother in July of this year. And, it seems that finally, with the passing of the matriarch, so also came the passing of the family tradition.

This year, the family did not gather. A tradition has ended.

I worried about my mom and her first Thanksgiving with no living parents and no tradition to fall back on. We tried very hard to get Mom & Dad to come down here for a tropical Thanksgiving Day. I thought that if things were changing anyway, perhaps it would be easier for her if it was something totally different. But, they didn't come. Mom is still coming to terms with her Parkinson's diagnosis and just wasn't up to travelling. And, we made so many trips up there last year, we just couldn't justify going up. At least my parents were able to spend the day with my brother Ken and his family there in Chattanooga. We spoke with them all on the phone, wished them a happy holiday, exchanged loving words and, so, life goes on.

I know that the next generation will never gather in the same way. I realized that fact at my grandmothers funeral. I looked around at all of the cousins I was once so close to and it hit me that we might not ever be all together that way again. The ties that bound have started to loosen and fray.
I'm not so much sad, just wanted to acknowledge the passing of something special. I didn't write this poem, but it does seem appropriate.

The Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving

(Edgar Albert Guest, 1881-1959)

It may be I am getting old and like too much to dwell
Upon the days of bygone years, the days I loved so well;
But thinking of them now I wish somehow that I could know
A simple old Thanksgiving Day, like those of long ago,
When all the family gathered round a table richly spread,
With little Jamie at the foot and grandpa at the head,
The youngest of us all to greet the oldest with a smile,
With mother running in and out and laughing all the while.

It may be I'm old-fashioned, but it seems to me to-day
We're too much bent on having fun to take the time to pray;
Each little family grows up with fashions of its own;
It lives within a world itself and wants to be alone.

It has its special pleasures, its circle, too, of friends;
There are no get-together days; each one his journey wends,
Pursuing what he likes the best in his particular way,
Letting the others do the same upon Thanksgiving Day.

I like the olden way the best, when relatives were glad
To meet the way they used to do when I was but a lad;
The old home was a rendezvous for all our kith and kin,
And whether living far or near they all came trooping in
With shouts of "Hello, daddy!" as they fairly stormed the place
And made a rush for mother, who would stop to wipe her face
Upon her gingham apron before she kissed them all,
Hugging them proudly to her breast, the grownups and the small.

Then laughter rang throughout the home, and, Oh, the jokes they told;
From Boston, Frank brought new ones, but father sprang the old;
All afternoon we chatted, telling what we hoped to do,
The struggles we were making and the hardships we'd gone through;
We gathered round the fireside.
How fast the hours would fly--
It seemed before we'd settled down 'twas time to say good-bye.

Those were the glad Thanksgivings, the old-time families knew
When relatives could still be friends and every heart was true.

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