I love this photo of my dad and me in the backyard of Mom and Dad’s House
My Dad’s Turkey Birthday
My dad had the fun, or challenge, of having Thanksgiving fall on his birthday every once in a while. His birthday is Nov. 22 and it would take its turn as the 4th Thursday of the year. Dad’s been gone for almost 10 years now. He passed just a few months after my 50th birthday at the ripe old age of 87. So it is wild to think that he would be almost 100! (Almost as wild as coming to terms that I am almost 60 yikes!)
Dad loved Thanksgiving no matter if it hijacked his birthday or not, because of all things in his life, Dad loved having his family around. Not only us kids, but ALL of his family – cousins, 2nd cousins, 2nd cousins twice removed (and being a genealogist he even knew what that means). We often went to Grandma’s (his mother) and ate with a passel of shirt-tail relatives and friends who I didn’t know all the rest of the year.
There was pie and turkey and all of the trimmings and running around Grandma’s blueberry farm and fishing out minnows in coffee cans and tossing walnut pods plucked from unmowed grassland that has fallen from monster trees. There was me, the youngest, and only girl, tagging along with my “boy cousins” who got progressively cooler and more “out of my league” but who let me hang with them anyway.
Almost every year of my life I sat around Grandma’s mahogany table for Thanksgiving. And I took possession of it in college after she entered a retirement community due to a broken hip. I cried. That table was beautiful and I loved it. But my student affordable apartment was not the place for Thanksgiving. So that table became the place for books and bills and hats and coats and hopeful dates and crazy all nighters.
It graces my dining room today. It almost ended up in the dump as it had fallen to pieces over the years. But when Mark and I remodeled our kitchen and bathroom a few years ago, the wonderful cabinet artisan who came to measure my bathroom, saw it and said, “We cannot let this beautiful wood go”. So he took all of the pieces with him and totally rebuilt the table and chairs and I cried with happiness that this part of my history still lived – even though my dad did not.
Today both of my parents are gone, as are Mark’s. We will share our table with a new friend. A new shirt-tail relative. I think Dad would love that on his Turkey Birthday.