The fondest, and earliest Thanksgiving memories I have are of chaos! What seems like dozens of cousins, three mostly complete sets of great aunts and uncles, my dad’s sister and her husband, my dad and the three of us kids, all crammed into my grandparent’s tiny house on Maple Street in Vancouver. The adults crowded around the antique dining table, under the crystal chandelier that was rescued from the home of great grandparents I never knew. This dining room was minuscule, about 10’ x 10’ with the kitchen so close, it was an easy reach to the counters and stove top loaded with myriad traditional dishes, lovingly prepared by the aunts. Candles were glowing and liquor was flowing.
All of the cousins, complete with olives on our fingers, were squished on the couch, or perched on creaky leather seated folding chairs (one of which I still proudly own!) with two-three uneven card tables, covered with damask tablecloths, befitting the holiday gathering.
|My Uncle Dick, being silly outside his garage in the 1950's.|
Dinner was rowdy and rambunctious, loud and oftentimes obnoxious, as dear great Uncle Dick was unruly in the best of circumstances, and more so with ample doses of brandy. The male oldsters argued about anything and everything, while the women attempted to keep the peace. I adored all of my aunts and uncles, and, as drunkenness was just part of the deal, I never knew any better. The holidays were never boring with this crew.
|1984 - Much of my Dad's extended family|
our last Thanksgiving together
at Fruit Valley Community Center.
No one had a big enough house anymore!
We're missing lots of folks from this one.
And, many of those babies have their own babies now!