Today is the day that most houses are smelling all good from all the food, the fam gets together, everyone eats a tad more than they should and stretch out on the couch to watch the pigskin fly. Does my fam celebrate like this? Sorta kinda. Does it feel like it's today? No. Do I feel like participating? No, not really. Since my mom and 'em are down here and I missed out on the party last year, I am going to head out to the country in a few hours.
Every year since my great grandmother died my family throws something more of a party than Thanksgiving dinner. My great grandmother was like the "big mama" of the family despite her not actually fitting the stereotype as being a big woman. Before she left my fam would get together and have a cookout "just because". We'd blast the radio and eat, dance and drink till everyone got tired. Back in the day I used to live upstate so of course whenever we came "home" of course there was a party! I really can't put what it was like into words but it was just a big beautiful thing.
When she passed the family kinda crumbled for a min. Nobody was really talking, all sorts of drama went down, and of course....no more cookouts or parties. Great granny (its so funny typing that because everyone just called her grandma) passed in the very early morning hours on Jan. 9th. I can remember the year, I want to say 99 because I was living w/my aunt in the country at that time. I remember my cousin knocking on the door w/a face full of tears. But enough of that. She passed in Jan and from then till November the fam wasn't like it used to be. It still isn't, but we are getting better...at least making an attempt I should say. My older generation of cousins (the real grandkids) thought it would be a good idea to start our parties back up and try to get the family to gel again. The next big holiday that everyone could be in NC was Thanksgiving so the date was set. We started the event with prayer and a moment of silence for "big mama" after all that kind of stuff was done we ate and started to party.
I don't know how I ended up with a camcorder but I started to film the party....the whole party. I mean my fam eventually people forgot that I was taping! Everyone was just having a good time and my tape became a family classic! Everyone wanted and received a copy. Big mama would have been proud, all her babies right one down the line together again putting all that petty stuff behind, if only for that day, to lay their hair down and have a good time together like they used to. So much fun was had that it was decided to do it again the next year. Word got around to other fam about the dinner/party and of course they wanted in. We eventually had to start renting rec/community centers for space.
Every year but the first year the party has had a theme. Last year the theme was rainbow. Every child of big mamas individual fam had to wear a certain color, my grandma's color was orange so they all rocked orange. I say they cuz that was last years theme and I didn't go last year. This year the theme is western. I am going to keep it simple with a tee shirt, vest, jeans, boots, bandana in the pocket and around the dreads/twist and cowboy hat. Pooka is rocking something very similar. To be honest, I only wanna go to some of my grandma's mac and cheese and one of my aunt's potato salad. Everyone has their version of potato salad, but in my opinion hers is the BEST. When I used to live w/her I watched her make it a few times and thought I had it down pact but it never comes out the same :-(
Anyways, if I haven't wished you a happy holiday....Happy day of Thanks! I am thankful for a lot of things like my life, fam, etc....
But I am also thankful for you. The people who read me, give feedback, and even share part of their lives with me. You guys make me feel a wide range of emotions which help me get through my work day a tad bit faster. Some of you guys allow me to live vicariously through you and that's cool. Some of you guys really make me think. Some of you are always there to give me that extra smile or you can do it on days I really am not feeling it. I am not gonna get mushy or nothing, but just wanted to make sure you knew that someone is honestly thankful....for you!
****This is where I would insert a graphic of virtual hugs if I knew how to do it, LOL!****
Please enjoy yourselves and if your doing any type of traveling no matter how long or short the distance, be careful. Also please please please have someone monitoring the stove! Carbon don't taste too good! LOL