Thursday, November 13, 2008

Great Grandma Amelia

We had our first official "snow day" on November!  That is early, even for us.  The sad/good news is, the kids are making it up the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  It seems so odd to be dealing with up and down weather patterns already.  Today, we are supposed to reach a high of 48, and while I watch the rain patter on our windows, I know it's just a matter of time until the temp drops and it freezes, giving us skating rink status once again.  The make up day reminds me of our pre-Thanksgiving gatherings at my great grandma's house.  On Wednesday night, we would drive into Sioux Falls and all meet at my great grandma Amelia's house.  Amelia would only wear dresses and high heels, and jewelry, as evidenced by the above photos.  My mom says she remembers Amelia wearing a pant suit only one time in her life, which I believe involved a road trip to Texas in a car with no air conditioning in the middle of the hottest part of the summer.  She was a very classy lady, and had no problem entertaining all of us in her (not-very-large) home, even us wild great grandkids.  (She used to tell me I had ants in my pants, which was probably a nice way of saying, man, are you hyper!!--on a side note, she also called my dad "Donny", which was something very few people got away with!)  Wednesday night before Thanksgiving meant celery sticks with cheese whiz or peanut butter, a slice of pie (pumpkin, pecan, banana cream, and chocolate were the options), pizzaburgers, and various finger foods, like olives, carrot sticks, etc.  The adults would play poker at the "big table," while us kids kept ourselves busy.  When I was younger, the oldest of the kids would shepherd the little ones to the movie theater.  This was where I saw my first movie ever, "The Cat From Outer Space".  As we got older, it involved playing Atari (my cousin's Atari, not mine...I vividly remember playing Pitfall and Asteroids--or was it Space Invaders??) on my great grandma's tv, in the fancy living room with the hanging lamp with little water beads traveling up the fishing line, and the big thick drapes and corner couch.  When it got too loud, smoky, and noisy, (which it did, often,) we could go into her bedrooms, which were nice and cold and had a bed in there covered with coats.  I remember falling asleep in there many times.  Thursday morning meant waking to the smell of turkey and stuffing baking, and setting up the "kids table" in her living room.  My mom and my uncle would boil up the neck, gizzard, heart, and liver, and eat them in front of us kids....gross!  The meal always began with a prayer and ended with feeling like you'd eaten too much.  While Thursday was awesome, as far as a perfect Thanksgiving meal goes, I always enjoyed Wednesday nights more.  There was something about the anticipation of what was to come, and the excitement of seeing the cousins for the first time, which was exhilarating.  As we age now, holidays are much different.  I think it has to do with having responsibilities now, as opposed to running around like children in the past...because we were children!  As we schedule and plan menus and work around other commitments, here's hoping we are able to retain at least a bit of that excitement, which was so easy to find when we were small.  And here's a big hats off to women like Great Grandma Amelia--they just don't make 'em like you anymore!

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