The turkey is cooking in the oven.
The pumpkin pies have been baked.
The potatoes, carrots and yes, even the brussel sprouts have been washed, peeled and sliced – all ready to be cooked for dinner tonight. Although it’s not our official day for Thanksgiving, many families including my own, enjoy a traditional turkey dinner on Sunday. It’s just seems to be a bit easier on the cook to be able to just relax and eat left-overs on the Monday before going back to work.
Ah, yes, going back to work. I am retired now but I remember it well. As the sun just started to rise in the sky, I would wake up every day to the blaring sound of an alarm clock. I would stumble my way out of bed and step under the hot spray of my morning shower, dry my hair, and hurry downstairs to brew a pot of coffee. When the family was all awake, we would have a good breakfast before heading out the door.
From the time that our boys were school age, they learned to make their own lunches. I’d ensure that they had healthy choices to choose from. My youngest was easiest to accommodate because he always wanted peanut butter and jam sandwiches. But My Man and oldest son always wanted “meat”. It didn’t matter what kind, just as long as it was meat. Hmm, come to think of it, that’s what I recall my mom always packing up for my dad in his metal lunch box.
I remember one frosty winter morning in particular when I was about five years old. As I wandered into the kitchen in my pyjamas and my bare feet, I saw that it was still dark outside. I could feel the cold drafts of air seeping in through the windows and my toes were freezing on the cold linoleum floor. Mom and dad were sitting at the kitchen table, drinking hot coffee and eating their breakfast. It was still so dark outside and I could not understand why my dad was going out so early.
I remember feeling sorry for my dad but he seemed happy to be going off to work. I asked him why? He smiled at me and said “I’m lucky to have a job to go to and besides that, I’ve got a great lunch waiting for me later!”
He picked up his lunch box and opened it. And today, right now, if I close my eyes….I can not only see inside my dad’s lunch box, but I can smell it too. I can smell “baloney”* meat spread with yellow mustard in-between two slices of fresh homemade bread, all wrapped in wax paper.
Tears just welled up in my eyes and I’m not sure why this memory makes me feel so sad today. Maybe I’m just being nostalgic on this Thanksgiving day. Because I am older, I realize how hard my parents worked to take care of us. I have these fond memories of growing up and I am very thankful for my parents. It is amazing about the power of a smell.
And right now, I can smell our turkey roasting in the oven, and I hope that one day, my own sons’ will recall the smell of a roasting turkey and remember.
I consider myself truly blessed. I am thankful for My Man, my two sons and all of my extended family and friends.
Happy Thanksgiving Day!
*Bologna! (If you are from the prairies, did you or do you still call it baloney? Yes, that’s how we said it back then).
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