The year that four generations of our family descended on a snowy town in Montana will always be my favorite Thanksgiving memory. Most of the family was there, with just a few exceptions. Three of the five siblings had come home to their father’s house and I don’t think he ever recovered from the experience.
Because most of us came from out of town, it was up to two of the family to find beds to put everyone, including 6 adults and 9 kids. A few other family members decided to stay at a hotel, which probably was the wisest choice. The other brother and his wife and their 5 kids already lived in town.
What was the most astonishing part of all of this was the amount of food and the variety that ended up on the table.
A turkey, a ham, various kinds of potatoes including mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, sweet potatoes with marshmallows and baked yams; lot of vegetables, especially the green bean casserole demanded by the cousins, carrots, peas, creamed corn; lots of salads of all kinds, rolls, pickles and olives and an assortment of other pickled vegetables and an amazing array of desserts, the most unusual from my perspective was green tomato pie, that sat in a place of honor with the pumpkin, pecan, apple, mincemeat, and a huckleberry pie. Everyone pitched in to prepare and cook the entire meal and the men surprised everyone by doing the dishes.
With all of these people, especially kids, keeping everyone entertained was also a problem that needed to be solved. No one was going to be satisfied with just sitting around.
We came up with craft projects for the kids, taught everyone how to line dance, watched holiday movies, devised games like a turkey shoot (paper bags stuffed with newspaper and made to look like turkeys and then knocked over with bean bags), long walks in the snow, but the highlight must have been the family football game in the front yard.
This only happened once. We did get together one other time, but in a much smaller group.
But nothing could match that one year when most of the family got together to give thanks for being a family.