Growing up, we always spent Thanksgiving with my mom's side of the family. Before my grandparents died when I was 14, the gathering was always at their country cottage in rural, northern Pennsylvania. My aunts and uncles would come, along with my eight cousins. We all camped out in the tiny house for two or three days. There was much card-playing, movie-watching, backyard football, and tree-climbing. (And midnight stealing ice cream from the extra freezer in the hallway. It's time I come clean about that one, actually. Sorry grandpa.)
My favorite tradition was the butcher paper. Before the table was set, my grandfather covered the whole thing (which spanned the length of his entire living and dining room) with brown butcher paper. The tablecloth and all the dishes were then set on top. After dinner, the dirty dishes and nice tablecloth were removed to reveal that brown butcher paper.
All the kids would descend on it with our crayons, markers, and colored pencils until no blank spot was left. There were many turkey hands, of course, and poorly-drawn pilgrims, among other Thanksgiving paraphernalia. What I didn't realize until I was older was that this was all a scheme to keep "those crazy kids" out of the kitchen and from asking "when are we having pie?" while the grown-ups cleaned up. Brilliant.
This year, I found a place to share the joy on Thanksgiving, albeit not with my own blood. SwingTime Cafe in downtown Watsonville served a free meal in the outdoor park, and I volunteered to serve food. I must say it was the sunniest, warmest Thanksgiving day I've ever spent! The food was smashingly delicious, and everyone I met was quite friendly. An elderly couple whom I served next to even invited me to stay at their home should I need a place when I'm done housesitting!
|Notice my lack of apron. Get it together. Sheesh.|
|Sunny California Thanksgiving|
The other thing I am feeling very grateful for this year is YOU, my blog readers. This blog has really taken off in recent months, and it is entirely due to your encouragement and support. After all, this wouldn't be much of a blog without anyone to read it! I think it's just called a secret diary then. . .
Earlier this week, I sent personal messages to a bunch of folks who I know read my blog, but hadn't yet become "official" followers, asking them to please consider joining. The response was overwhelming, and my followers jumped from 28 to 61 in just one day! THANK YOU!
It is very important that when potential publishers visit my blog, they see that I have a large, loyal following. They will think ooh look at all of these people who already read her writing, I'm sure if we paid her to write for us she'd draw a large following, we should start her with a million dollar contract. . .
But seriously, I have one more favor to ask. If you read an entry and are inspired to comment, I would so greatly appreciate if you did so here, right on the blog. Most of my entries get several comments on Facebook, which I LOVE reading, but it helps the whole publisher/appearance thang if they also see that people are actively commenting here on the blog.
Because I'm a teacher at heart, let's practice together, shall we? I'd love to hear your favorite Thanksgiving tradition, like the butcher paper one I mentioned above. Just drop a line or two as a comment on this post.
Thank you all for being a part of my life! I never feel alone on my travels because you are all in my pocket. These pants are getting heavy. . .