Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey Day

I know, I know...You're thinking what the hell is this picture of Kim doing at the top of a post about Thanksgiving. Me on Turkey Day. :)

Turkey Day is just so weird as an adult. With all my grandparents in heaven, it has taken on a completely different form and I have to learn to forge a new reality and choose to celebrate in a way that I see fit.

 We'd go to my maternal grandparents home for Thanksgiving when I was a kid. My grandparents constructed a room in the back specifically for family dinners. It would be my parents, sister and me (and her husband after she got married), my aunt and her family and my uncle and his family. My aunt and her family lived in Northern California, and bless their perseverance, they'd leave Thanksgiving Eve by car after my uncle would get off work to make the drive to Southern California. That's crazy to think about now as an adult, but every year it would be their tradition to pack up the damn car and drive down, stopping at Harris Ranch along the way to have dinner. They always got a shocked response from my parents leaving at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Eve to make the drive to Southern California, but honestly, I admire their perseverance to create tradition and see family that weekend.

 Grandma passed away 8 years ago-and so did Thanksgiving dinner with the extended family. It's good to have memories, because that's all I've got now.

 Even though relationships are....interesting....on that side of the family, I miss the crowd of people around on Thanksgiving. I miss helping to make the pilav and experimenting with making appetizers. I miss my uncle experimenting with turkey making. I still laugh about the year that he began barbecueing the turkey. I thought he burned a perfectly good turkey because the skin was black! (It was fine.)

 Forging a new celebrating reality is difficult when it comes to holidays as an adult. My sister doesn't celebrate with us, so it's usually my parents and I having Thanksgiving dinner alone. To be nice, it was just very silent last year, which to me is not a happy way to spend any holiday. This year, though, I chose to put a tweak in the plans because I honestly wanted it to be a somewhat happy holiday.

 I had to laugh, because I got a phone call from my mom in the morning asking me to do a store run for Thanksgiving dinner. I live 15 minutes away, mind you, so she could have hopped in the car, driven to the store and gotten the three items herself in less time than it would have taken me to drive to her house! Call me nice daughter though, because I went and got the friggin bacon for the brussel sprouts dish, the Kitchen Bouquet (No one knows what that is anymore!) and the almond milk. Thank goodness for cell phones, because I actually called my mom while standing in front of the almond milk wondering what kind she wanted! (Don't ask. You get smarter as you get older is all I'll say...)

 I had dinner with my parents and  decided to make another stop this year before I went home. One of my dad's cousins and his wife are trying to make Thanksgiving a family get-together and I really wish I would have gone to see them last year instead of sitting through a dinner at my parents house that was honestly not happy. My second cousin said he missed seeing me, which of course was an awesome feeling last year. They extended the same invitation this year, and so I went to see them before heading home. They run a wedding planning center, so they had dinner at their super cute location in a quaint downtown area. It was nice to stop in and talk to them for a few minutes before heading home. That section of town that they have their location at is so happy and quaint and is decorated for Christmas!  I went through the nearby driving circle and snapped a picture of this at the center of it:

 This would have normally been a damn stupid thing to do, but I stopped the car, took a pic and went on my way. It's just cute!

 Boring holiday for the most part, but forging a new reality involves learning as you go. Choice is kind of cool. Choice with tradition during the holidays is awesome. I don't know if choice will ever involve going shopping at 3 AM on Black Friday.... Never say never though.

 Choice is kinda cool.

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