Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What do you mean Thanksgiving is next week?!?!

Yeah.....Oh Joy!

About two months ago I was actually looking forward to this Holiday. Now that the plans of that day are "unknown" for the first time in my whole life......I am dreading it. I think it is because I have been so sure of my family traditions growing up and even when Jeff and I were dating...the plans were always the same. Last year was the first year I spent it doing his family tradition. It was a great time...very different and an adjustment for me, but great. Now, nothing, no set plans, no familiarity, no traditions. :( And its extra bummerish becuase this is our first Thanksgiving Holiday as a married couple. I guess its time to grow up and make our own traditions.....but not quite because we will probably have to share and split time between families and just be bouncing not the Thanksgiving that it should be.
Of course as with most major holidays or events, it is more exciting and fun as a child. My fondest of memories of my childhood include Thanksgiving time of year. I remember being excited to go to the Nursery and see the real live turkeys. My family has a tree Nursery in town and it still looks the same as when I was little. That is one of the things I love about it. All the memories are still there, all the smells, set up and what not. Now, each year right after Halloween my dad would take our Tom Turkey from our tree farm to the nursery for a neat little decoration/attraction for the fall time of year. It is pretty silly that I would look forward to seeing our turkey in a different venue, and it was hard to remember it was the same turkey that I ignored in my own backyard. Just something about Tom being on display, with an assortment of different shaped squash and gords, multi colored hardened corn cobs, and hay bales. It was so cool. He would puff up and do his little dance. If you have never seen a turkey “intimidating” dance (I also believe it to be their mating dance as well) you should see one. It is hilarious. They puff all their feathers out and they start doing this weird dance back and forth. I also remember the fresh popcorn and hot apple cider in the show room of the Nursery. My grandfather had an old fashioned popcorn machine, it was super cool. We also got the paper bags that had the white and red stripes on it. It was such a cool time of year there. It was second to Christmas, but still something that I looked forward to each year. It has been a good 10 years since I did any of that though. The main reason is because my grandfather passed away the day after Thanksgiving in 1999 and with his passing so did our major family Thanksgiving time traditions. I still somewhat resent my dad and his side of the family for this. But, I cannot live my life in the past and hold onto anger and resentment. Life is too short to be like that. Now, it’s only natural for me to not be all that excited about Thanksgiving currently. This time of year used to be one of my favorites, and it is now just a favorite memory and past time. When I think about the good times, it’s not long until the shadow of the past comes back to steal away those happy memories and replace them with sad ones.
My family from Kansas City (who are my favorite people in the world to this day) used to come to Wichita for Thanksgiving every year. They are so much fun. These cousins are a lot older than me, they are a good 10-20 years older than I am. So they were in their late twenties and thirties with little ones of their own. I loved that too- being around little kids. Of course now they are in their teen years. My dad is the baby of his family by a lot of years. I think he is what you call a “oops baby”. His sister is 15 years older than him, his brothers are 13 and 10 years older than him. Therefore they all have kids much older than me and my siblings. But I always loved that because they were so much fun and they had babies I could play with.
Anyways, Thanksgiving 1999, everyone was in town as usual- however the days prior to actual Thanksgiving day was spent at the nursing home at a 24 hour bedside vigil. This was nothing knew actually, there were at least 3 other times in the past year that we thought he would pass away. But he always pulled through, so I think we all just expected him to pull through again. We especially didn’t think he would actually pass away around thanksgiving. But at the same time some of my family members thought it was a good time of year so everyone in town could say their goodbyes. I see their point now that I am an adult, but when I was a young it was devastating. Anyways, so that was the last year we did the fun huge McHenry family Thanksgiving. The next year we started going to my mom’s side. Which is always a big gathering and fun enough, however, it was just like a pre Christmas get together. We always do a huge Christmas with mom’s side. And we always did a huge Thanksgiving with dad’s side. Anyways, then last year I went to Texas with Jeff for Thanksgiving with his mom’s side. It was very a huge change for me. It was hard to be away from my family, but also a preview of what my life was evolving into. I was very eager and excited to become part of his families’ traditions. They were very welcoming and it was a good time for the most part. Now I fully expected to go again this year, and extra happy since I already was ‘part’ of the family so I could relax a bit and not be nervous like I was last year in an unfamiliar setting with new people. So my excitement quickly turned into disappointment when I learned we were not going to Texas this year. So now, I have no clue how we are going to shuffle around. Of course his family and my family want to do dinner at the same time so now it should be interesting. I guess this is just the transition part of our lives. We still do stuff with our sides of the family. But in the future, once we settle down a little more and when (and if) we add little ones to the mix…then we will get to start our own traditions. That is something I feel strong about. I want to establish great traditions and stuff for the kids to grow up knowing and being familiar with like I was in my childhood. I do not need to think about this anymore since kids couldn’t be further from story right now.I am thankful for everything in my life and so that is the reason for the season. But it should be interesting to see how this Thanksgiving ends up.

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