Thanksgiving has wonderful memories for me. In the 50’s we drove to Bloomington to spend the holiday with Mom’s sister’s family. During the day we kids skated on Nine Mile Creek, coming in rosy-cheeked and hungry for an early dinner. We ate early so we could drive downtown to see Dayton’s Christmas windows that were on display from that day to Christmas. Often depicting scenes from Victorian tales, some were animated, and all were magical to children from a small town.

It wasn’t long before the Thanksgiving celebration moved to our home in Gaylord. My uncle would come on the bus from Minneapolis, and he and Mom would play the piano for singing. Our cousins would join us, and if the weather was mild, the meal was preceded by a football game we played in the nearby park. One by one family members would go with Dad to the dental office for attention. Dad never seemed to mind making those appointments with relatives, and the relatives didn’t mind the holiday visits to the dentist.

Our dining room was small, and we’d crowd around a table filled with wonderful holiday food. One year the kids, who ate in the kitchen at a kids’ table, swore that they’d only been given jello. To this day their story persists, even though we know they never would have let that pass without a noisy reaction to the slight.

One year my family was snowed in; southwestern Minnesota had slippery roads with no travel advised. I called the family in Gaylord to see how things were going there. My cousin answered the phone, but he was laughing so hard that I couldn’t understand him very well. It seems that my brother who had been whipping cream in the mixer, turned it on high to give it a good start. Cream flew all over the kitchen, much of it landing on the four big dogs, who loved it. They licked it off every surface they could reach. It was a slippery mess. How I wish I’d been there.

These days we spend the holiday with our children’s families. I am thankful for happy memories and the love of family. In these uncertain times, it is a blessing.