I was thinking about Thanksgiving yesterday as I sat in Meeting. I remembered Thanksgiving meals at my maternal grandmother's table and tried to remember if we actually used the big honking set of dishes that I inherited from her, yellow with gold trim and a wheat pattern in the middle. I can remember the hand painted dishes she often used. I have the one she would place at my setting, sweet peas, a request from when I was probably 7 or 9. But I don't remember these wheat dishes for some reason. Maybe they were just always there and not terribly special in any particular way, not in the way a hand painted plate is.
As I was sitting therem something my brother mentioned to me Friday night as we were talking about Thanksgiving meals came back to me and made me cry. He mentioned the turkey neck. The turkey neck was and is one of my favorite parts of the bird. My grandma knew this. She would boil the heck out of the thing (maybe she was making broth?) and at some point while she was cooking the rest of the meal I was allowed in to gnaw on the neck bones. I remember sitting in her kitchen stool plucking off pieces of meat while she was cooking away at the stove.
I'm feeling a bit adrift these days as far as Thanksgiving goes. Up until a few years ago I had People that I spent it with, People that also had relocated and settled here, People without all the extended family nearby. But time has a way of scattering us and my Thanksgiving and Easter People, they have moved away or feel the need at this time in their life to focus more on strengthening family ties so they will spend the hours in the car necessary to do that. I am very lucky and grateful for a work friend who is happy to welcome me into her home but it's not the same, not when everyone there knows everyone else because they're all related and I sometimes feel a bit of shell-shock when I encounter large groups of new folks that I don't know.
So rather than dwell on all of that I'll remember sitting in my grandma's kitchen with my turkey neck while she bustles around, making things lovely for dinner.