Posted tagged ‘M&M’s’

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”

November 23, 2017

Today is a beautiful day, just chilly enough. The sun is bright and sharp. The leaves flutter a bit then the limbs swing back and forth when the breeze becomes a wind. I’m watching the parade.

My sister and I spoke this morning, and we remembered our mother waking up early to get the turkey in the oven. Why it was so early neither one of us remember. While my mother was in the kitchen, we were all sitting in front of the TV watching the parade. The snacks every year were the same: M&M’s, tangerines and mixed nuts. We used a silver set to crack then pick out the nuts. Years ago I bought a set exactly the same. I fill it with nuts and put the bowl, the crackers and the picks on my dining room table. Tangerines were the best as they were so easy to peel. Only seeds marred their perfection. The M&M’s were first to go. My father always went with my grandfather to the football game. It was Stoneham versus Reading. My father had no connection to the high school. He never went there and neither did any of us. It was football which drew him.

When the parade was finished, my dad took over the TV. He watched football until my mother called him to the table. We stayed in the kitchen until we set the table. We had turkey, gravy, sage stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and another vegetable or two. The cranberry sauce was always the one from the can. The sauce had can ridges which gave it a bit of a decoration. I always wondered why it was called a sauce when the cranberry was jellied. My father ate quickly, all the better to get back to his games. We lingered far more, just sitting and talking. Clean-up didn’t take long. After that were the pies: apple, my dad’s favorite always eaten with a chunk of cheese, blueberry and lemon meringue. By then it was late afternoon. Supper, if we had any room for more food, was leftovers, usually a hot turkey sandwich, the meat bathed in gravy. That meal was the official end of Thanksgiving.

I have so many things to be thankful for a whole day is not enough. I am thankful for family, for the connections between my sisters and me. I have been blessed with the best of friends, my other family, and I am thankful for them. I am also thankful for my Coffee friends. When I started this, I never thought people I hadn’t ever met would become such close friends. Most of all, I am thankful for the joy and wonder of each new day.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


“Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice.”

November 20, 2015

The rain started last night and is just now stopping. It has left behind yet another dreary day. It is 56˚ and as warm as it will be for the whole coming week when we’ll drop to the 40’s every day. I’m inclined to stay close to hearth and home.

Watching the Macy’s parade dates back to when I was five or six. I remember sitting on the floor in front of the TV eating snacks. My mother always put out mixed nuts for us to crack and eat, tangerines and M&M’s. We had those silver crackers and matching forks to pull out the nuts. Brazil nuts were my favorites. I liked tangerines because they were so easy to peel. I just didn’t like that they had nuts. Those I’d spit into my hand then put on my plate. I never missed color. Black and white was all we knew, but the parade still had magic from the floats, the sounds of the bands and Santa arriving at the end.

When my mother baked, the windows in the kitchen fogged. At night the window water would freeze in a thin layer like on our car windshields except it was inside the house. Sometimes the window ice looked like mountains ridges, some higher than the others. The ridges, though, never went beyond the middle of the window. I used to like to scratch pictures or messages on the ice with my fingernail, but once the heat kicked in, it didn’t take long for the ice to melt.

Our first frost came the other day. When I went to get the papers, I noticed my car windshield was wet, and the part of my neighbor’s front yard filled with mulch still had its layer of frost. When I went out about an hour later, the frost was gone.

I always hated scraping my car windows. It was early in the morning, around 6:15, still very dark and cold. Now, I seldom go out all that early so the frost has usually melted. When people ask me about the best parts of being retired, I’ll have to remember to tell them about never having to scrape a window.

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.”

November 24, 2011

My mother used to wake up around five to make the stuffing then she’d stuff the turkey and put it in the oven. I’d wake up to the aroma of turkey wafting through the house. We four kids would settle in front of the TV, still in our pajamas, and watch the Thanksgiving Day parade. We’d snack on tangerines, mixed nuts still in the shell and M&M’s. We’d fight over using the nucracker. Dinner was usually around two, and it was always pretty much the same menu: turkey, my mother’s wonderful stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce with the decorative ridges from the can, peas, asparagus in the can for my father and a roving vegetable, a different one each year. Dessert was always pie: an apple and a lemon meringue and sometimes a blueberry cobbler. The kitchen was small and always hot from the turkey cooking. The windows were steamed. My dad always wanted the drumstick, and the rest of us usually chose the white meat. When we got older, we’d also eat the dark. I remember making the well in my mashed potatoes for the gravy and trying hard not to let it overflow the bank of potatoes. Our plates were groaning and so were we after dinner. My dad watched football, and the rest of us sometimes played a game or just sat around talking. My mother always cleaned up after dinner.

Today I am thankful for so many things. I am thankful for the love of my family and friends, and I am thankful for a head filled with incredible memories and for a childhood which had wonder and joy. Marty Barrett will always have my thanks. It was he who infected me with Barrett’s disease, my envy for his trips to England when he visited his grandmother. When I was eleven, I vowed to out-travel Marty, and I’m betting I have. I am thankful for all of you who have become my friends even though we have never met in person. I wish you all the blessings of the day and a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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