It is almost Thanksgiving Day. Growing up, Thanksgiving meant spending the day at Grandma Baker’s house (after praying the car would start – did you read my blog a couple of weeks ago?). The side door to her house would be propped open, allowing some of the heat from the kitchen to escape. Moisture dripped down the glass on the window over the sink. All four burners of the stove held simmering pots and the oven was full.
Pies lined the small countertop: apple, pumpkin and minced meat. I knew Gram’s green gelatin salad was in the refrigerator, along with vegetables ready to be arranged on her cut-glass relish tray.
The adults ate in the dining room, while we kids sat at the kitchen table. It wasn’t because we weren’t wanted, there just wasn’t room. We didn’t mind because we got to fill our plates first. We were allowed to put green olives on our fingertips and eat them off. And of course the most important item was not the turkey, but the homemade noodles served over mashed potatoes. No gravy at this Thanksgiving dinner!
Time passed and Grammie went to be with Jesus. We kids grew up and had families of our own, and the tradition of Thanksgiving dinner changed. But some things remain.
Olives are still allowed on fingers, the stove must have all burners full, and Grammie’s green gelatin salad is always part of the menu. And the queen of the meal is still the homemade noodles over mashed potatoes. I make the noodles now, and I am teaching my young granddaughter. Someday she will become the official family noodle maker, thus the tradition continues.
Life situations change and the old ways of doing things transform to something new, but the seeds of tradition remain. During the new times, we remember the old. We share stories about the past, laugh at family tales that become family legends. Remember when … The new still holds some of the past.
Thanksgiving dinner is still served on Grammie’s table cloth. We use the good china rather than paper plates. And then there are the noodles …
God created traditions so we would remember where we came from. He created the Passover and the Lord’s Supper among them. During this Thanksgiving week, give thanks for the traditions of your family, past and present, that help you remember where you came from.