| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:52

    I recall last Thanksgiving my grandmother's face, fighting a sneer, as she studied the holiday bird. It seems she was trying to understand the mentality of sage leaves under the skin of the turkey. "Something different" was the way I saw it, if it's good enough for Martha, then it's good enough for me. It was my premiere as the Thanksgiving day hostess, and of course, I wanted everything just right. Martha surely knew what to do. Grandma was being closed minded, I judged silently. She wants everything to be the same, year after year. Traditions, and more traditions. Martha who? Sage leaves where? "If you find something good, you stick with it", she grumbled. Grandma and I have an unspoken, on-going feud about such things. And I, of course, have an unspoken, condescending attitude toward her about being more open minded. A very admirable trait, I thought, and Grandma's "stick-to-it-forever" attitude….no merit I thought, but lately…I'm not so sure. My husband, children and I are now finally settled into our new home. My thoughts have turned to making our home life comfortable and warm, especially for the holidays. Times that will stay in our children's hearts for years to come. So, I began thinking. What was it? What was that unmistakable "Thanksgiving" feeling? Then it hit me. It was, for me, the security if it all. The rock solid feeling you have when you know exactly what to expect. I knew I'd smell dinner even as I woke in the morning. Mom, in her apron, reminding me the parade would be on soon.I knew exactly what each culinary scent was, and exactly what it would look like right down to which dish it would be served in. I knew exactly what time grandma and grandpa would pull into the driveway. There would be the sound of a football game on T.V. as dad and grandpa discussed the plays. It may have been the most they talked all year, but they did talk. The kids would be outside after the parade, playing football, or just doing things that gave us those crisp, red faces. The dinner table became increasingly more crowded as time to eat!" approached. Everyone took their commonly understood seat, grace was said. Even as a small child, I was truly thankful. Yesterday and tomorrow may be hapless pandemonium, but this was warm and right. Then, Dad, like always, picked up the carving knife, like a conductor with a baton, and Thanksgiving dinner commenced. Traditions, I think they call them, those things I used to curse. Thank God for those traditions. Maybe Grandma was right, and now it's time to start my own.