Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Day 2012

Haiku My Heart
November 23, 2012

See more Haiku My Heart at Rebecca's recuerda mi corazón.

Thanksgiving dinner

Thick Black Friday shopping crowds

Time of the season

Back in the 1970’s, when we were married and didn’t have any children, I would wake up very early on Thanksgiving morning and travel over to my friend’s place. We would load up our gear and shotguns, his Brittany Spaniel, jump in the pick up truck and head out for Minooka, IL, where Roy’s Grandpa owned a large farm. We had breakfast on the way there and did all this so timed for a 6 AM arrival. Minooka is just a short distance from the Southwestern Chicago hamlet of Joliet, home of the famed statesville Prison, featured ‘Big House’ in the Blues Brothers first movie.

Our goal was to go pheasant hunting on Thanksgiving Day and return home to a warm kitchen full of delicious smells and tables and countertops loaded with food. In our case in those early years of our marriage, we went to either my Mom and Dad’s or Mrs. Spadoman’s Mom and Dad’s home for Thanksgiving dinner.

The hunting didn’t always produce results, but if we did bag a few birds, Roy’s spouse would clean them and put them in the freezer and we would gather in January for a wild game feed which was prepared by her capable North Dakota farm girl hands

At Barb’s Mom and Dad’s, the usual relatives from Milwaukee were on hand. They made the 90 mile trip and spent the day sitting at my Father-in-law’s downstairs bar that he had in the basement. These ‘finished’ basements were called rumpus rooms in those days. Football would be on TV. Detroit and Dallas always have hosted a Thanksgiving Day football game ever since I could remember. Of course earlier in the morning was the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I missed it because I was out hunting with Roy.

There was a lot of drinking going on. Schilitz beer, for the most part, maybe a few shots or mixed brandy and water or brandy and seven highballs and cigarette smoke. The turkey in the oven was there, but not of importance to the gathering, which was completely the opposite when we would go to my Mom and Dad’s home for Thanksgiving dinner.

At the Spado residence, there would be a complete turkey dinner, with all the trimmings that included sweet and mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing and a couple of vegetable dishes along with the rolls and butter, and a complete Italian lasagna dinner, also complete with meatballs, sausage, bracioli, (Bra-Zhole’), salad and cantaloupe or some such fruit to cleanse the palette. Then came the pies, about three or four of them, but no alcohol. Just what we called Pop. Canfield’s, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Pepsi Cola or 7-Up. Funny how food is or is not important to American families.

We moved away from the places where we grew up and shared holidays with family and started our own life and traditions. Thanksgiving was the American traditional feast for years in our home. Similar to the above mentioned turkey dinner.

For a couple of years, we went to our Irish friend’s home on Thanksgiving where everyone brought a specialty Mexican dish. I always made Chile Rellenos from scratch. Funny, we had chili rellenos last night for dinner. I made Chili verde to top them and it was fantastic!

As time marched on and I learned that some of my Native Indigenous friends took offense, and rightly so, with Thanksgiving and Columbus Day for the atrocities suffered by the first inhabitants of this land of ours we call America, I wondered about the why and wherefore of ‘celebrating’ a holiday that brought so much horror and unrest to a race of human beings.

Later in life, I realized that in my heart, I didn’t harbor the idea that we needed to make anyone suffer for our own greed and that I will live my life making sure I don’t have the hatred and do all I can, when I can, to end the practice of discrimination of anyone.

I still, however, am a product of this society and celebrate the idea of Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day, but pray and thank the creator for blessings each and every day.

I wish you good Peace in your heart and in the hearts of all that you hold dear. I Thank You for your friendship. 

Much Peace


Jeannie said...

It is indeed sad that the first nations had to suffer so much for the freedom of the first European settlers. We do have to understand that those settlers were under the delusional idea that they really were better - more worthy. It seems ludicrous and wrong to us now but the world was a different place and ignorance was vast and rampant. They believed that they had a divine right to be Lords of the Earth and yet didn't understand the first thing about being a good steward - think what a different world we'd be in if only they could have learned a thing or two from the indigenous mindset. And still today, the bullies force their will on everyone through terror and destruction while gentle people have everything taken away.
Still, I'm thankful for people who press for a better way - and better in more than profits.

Mel said...

Ah yes......pheasant hunting season. I remember it well.
And rumpus rooms where the FUN was....leastwise it seemed that way when you were trapped in the livingroom/kitchen with the gossiping women. LOL Ah, the perceptions of a teenager, huh? Funny--I still think there's truth in that and after reading here I feel validated!

I do hope you and yours enjoyed the Holiday.
Pretty quiet one here--but that's not an all bad thing. The dinner was good, the company...fair....ROFL No worries--I'll tell him I said that! ;-)

Abundant blessings to you and yours, sir. BOY is there a list and a half of things to be grateful for in this past year, huh?

Delphyne said...

Great haiku - I always enjoy reading your memories.

somepinkflowers said...

~~soda pop in a rumpus room~~

man !!

memories don't get much better
than that

{{ maybe
THIS is what the world needs more of these days...
we all need rumpus rooms
sugar*filled pop ...

maybe }}

carol l mckenna said...

Wonderful post ~ addresses it all ~ starting with your very appropriate haiku ~ for the Season ~ You are one 'enlightened' man ~ enjoy ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^

Laura said...

May we all pay attention to what we are celebrating and mindfully give thanks for the blessings and how we can be blessings for the sake of all beings.

Kim Mailhot said...

The gathering in love and gratitude feels like a good thing to me. The food, like comfortable hugs, is a part of that too.
But yes, the thankfulness everyday, in each moment is the big stuff !
Sending you love and peace, my Friend !

Lea said...

I love hearing your stories... you've got me thinking about traditions, how they can change, some staying the same, but shifting over the years... This was my first Thanksgiving in twenty-five years without a Harris at my table... that reality even showed up in my dreams yesterday morning! My dad made it, and dear friends, and next year, I know it will be different... I am reminded by this thanksgiving day, to give thanks every day for the beauty of life, the kindnesses given to me, and the opportunity to be here on this earth for as long as I have, a gift... Thank you and peace to you dear friend. P.s. a package began its way to you on Wednesday!

Fallingladies said...

Our thanksgiving is quieter than it used to be .... Less extended family involved and we go around the table mentioning what we are thankful for.... A calm day! Here's hoping you are not out stuck in the shopping crowds!

Stephanie said...

Isn't that something, how our memories can take us back, bring the sights and smells flooding in.

I like to think of Thanksgiving as giving thanks for the abundance in my life and to think of how I can share this with others that do not have such abundance...
and so thankful for the friends that meet here on a weekly basis...


foxysue said...

I love to see Thanksgiving on American movies, seems to be such a lovely day for you all and sometimes wish we celebrated it too! x

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Thanks for your memories, Spadoman. Your memories jogged my own. Precious.

Desert Monk

gma said...

Great post! Loved your memories of Thanksgivings past. Also understand your thoughts on the celebration of something that may hurt others. Our gratitude is ALL year & happy the ancestors were thankful enough to make it a holiday.

rebecca said...

my dear friend,

how the years change and sometimes, yes, so do we. right now i have to share that thanksgiving is all about family and my mother is the center piece of all our traditions. i am so grateful for another day of celebrating together. i know it will not always be this way. from the vantage point of having lost my father, i know for me the holidays will never be the same without the love, laughter and wit of both my parents.
thanks for your friendship and stories of the heart you are so generous in sharing.

Mark said...

"Time of the season"?

Perils of the season too!

Birches Haiku

rebecca said...

dear spadoman,

i am here to happily announce, it's our time of year again!!!
in the spirit of sharing the light of the season i am once again hosting A Virgin a Day for the first 12 days of december leading up to mary's feast day.
i am calling out all mary lovers to share some beauty, calm, and light!
hope you will share some of your gorgeous marys.
i love love love this bright sharing,
every offering a delight and surprise! hope to meet you each morning for marylove.