I saw one of my mother's dear friends yesterday as I bought my fall shoes at Vince's. Olga's husband, Vince, started the store and Anita continues the business. He was another man who died too young in my opinion. Olga sits in an easy chair in the store, minding it.
I spoke before of all these women friends of my mom, who not only cooked and baked, but they decorated so wonderfully. My mother for Thanksgiving used a wax candle family of pilgrims. I'm seeing gray, but also blue, so I'm thinking there were two sets over the years. They had rounded cheeks, painted blue eyes and the mother and daughter had blond hair peaking out from under their molded hats. The father held a rifle(and my husband could tell you what kind). She never burned them, of course. They stood quietly on the dining room table with the accordion style turkey, much bigger than the family combined. I think I remember wax turkeys too, maybe at one time. The candles, though not scented, smelled sweet. As a kid, I wondered what they would taste like. Maybe there was a tooth mark or two on the little girl.
We lived at 432 Main Street and I'm not sure if this happened on Thanksgiving. I think it did, because football covered the TV and I was bored. Fortunately this year, the TV was in the middle room, only one room away from the kitchen. Mom always yelled from the kitchen, but her voice never carried the words. I looked this day, she stood in the doorway of the kitchen. Her back was on fire.
"Mollie, get your daddy," she screamed.
"Daddy, Mommy's on fire," I shouted to my dad.
Dad jumped off his chair and smothered that fire on her back. We were thankful Mom had a thick robe on that day. Dad moved the gas stove soon to the other side of the kitchen. The passage between the flames and the cupboards proved too close that day.
A pink area on Mom's back was the only battle scar of that mishap.
Another fun memory comes from Emporium when the responsible young men of today- Sarge Scott and Councilman Mike, were tweens. The two tables put together are long. The rolls didn't get passed. Some pitching became our Thanksgiving sport. Pitching of rolls. They also became bored, crawled out the dining room window, as they were too big to crawl under the table. I'm sure that has been done, the crawling under the table.
One year, I must have worked midnights in CT, because we arrived after dark. I saw my mother inside the bigger dining room window in Emporium and thought it was David's Grandma Lyon. Sometime in my absence, my mother became a little white hair old lady.
My mother-in-law always had her Thanksgiving table open to all. Different in-laws gathered at the table, as the spouses died or families move away. My mother and father met us many times in Emporium. Then as mom became a widow,and felt healthy, she was always invited and welcomed by my dear mother-in-law.
My mother-in-law is up in years, I guess I shouldn't publish her age, but she is still preparing the large meal and the whole weekend of eating for many of us. Her husband often asks her, "How many are left in your family?" He means the past, but she looks at the present, her four children, their spouses, the grandchildren, spouses and great grandchildren. I believe 44 in all. He gets frustrated as he has dementia, "No, I don't mean that." She sees the present and future and is thankful.
I wish that this Thanksgiving. I enjoy the past. I'm thankful for the many good memories, great family, few fights or drama(except for fires and the dining room window escape,) the sharing and caring at this time of year. May we all rejoice at what we have and be thankful.