Every year I miss even more the Thanksgiving get-togethers we used to have twenty years ago when my folks were in Palm Springs. My brother, sister, and all our kids would gather together either at my sister’s place, or my mom’s condo, and eat till we dropped — then eat more of all those pies!  The kids were sooo young — and it was all just so enjoyable for me.

Mom is now 94, and most of the "kids" of her kids have families of thier own, or no longer all travel to the same place to eat the same food.

They miss the "old days" too.  There is something about childhood memories that are the best. My childhood memories about Thanksgiving are of huge dinners at my Aunt and Uncle’s house in Walla Walla. My most vivid "holiday" memories are of Passover in Spokane, Washington at my grandparents. After dinner, we would eventually wind up in the den where there would be "Chicago Rasslin" on my Grandpa’s black and white TV. Man_mtn_dean Man Mountain Dean and Gorgeous George are as much a part of my Passover memories as the Four Questions.

Strange thing about "The Holidays" — I have always loved them as they provided, via tradition, such a comfortable space of predictable food and experience. Not now. The Passover dinners at my Grandparents ended when I was in 6th grade and my Nana passed away; the traditional Norwegian Christmas with my now ex-in-laws ended after almost thirty years.  Even my own invention — a family tradition of Gummy Fish strung about the house for the Birthday of Baha’u’llah is relegated to "remember when?"  We made our own family traditions for the kids, but family traditions require both the family and the traditions.

So, this Thanksgiving six of us will pick up dinner to go from Albertsons and thankfully share it together. A year ago, I didn’t know four of the six.  I am thankful that I have people who want to share Thanksgiving with me, thankful for so many things.  Things could be worse. I know that.  I am thankfull for all the Thanksgivings I had with my parents, my siblings, my kids, and cousins and nieces and nephews. All the years that we thought would go on forever, the lazy days and long nights, midnight raids on the kitchen and all that stuff.

I hope your Thanksgiving, whatever it is, gives you the opportunity to remember how blessed you have been in the past, even if you didn’t know it, and how blessed you are in the present, even if you don’t appreciate it.


  1. Mike Barer

    Wow, that gave me memories of Grandmother Barers Thankgivings. Many of which we have movies now on video tape, soon to be on disk. I also remember when you used to come up the back stairs at Grandmother Barers house to get some gefile fish or whatever she would have.
    My other vivid memory is the Chanukkah night, where you were Santa Clause, because you where also the Santa Clause at Newberry’s. I always got cool toys except Grandmother always gave me clothes.


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