I suppose most people in the United States, and many beyond have some kind of Thanksgiving tradition, even if it's a vow not to participate. Most of my life I went "home" for the holiday in some form or fashion. My mother died when I was 12 years old, but my older sisters carried on the tradition with turkey, oyster stuffing, and candied sweet potatoes. And even after I was away from home, I would make that trip on the Trailways bus, back home where most of the seven siblings gathered.
When I married the first time, the Thanksgiving tradition became a weekend trip to North Carolina with my husband, to his birthplace in North Carolina, where his mother had spent the previous three days preparing the feast. And it was always a feast for two days before we had to make the road trip back in time for Sunday Service at the church in New Jersey where my husband was pastor.
Time marched on, and my first husband passed away, as did his brother before him, their father, their aunts and uncles, leaving their mother who out-lived them all but me.
I continued my own Thanksgiving tradition with my own siblings who lived mostly in the Washington, DC area. We combined our cooking efforts sometimes in DC, sometimes in North Carolina. When I remarried, we discovered that my husband could cook, and he took charge of many of the Thanksgiving feasts for several years. He would wake up at 4 a.m. and put the turkey in the oven. Sometimes we would take the turkey to DC, sometimes the family would come to us for the feast.
This Thanksgiving begins a new phase in our lives. My remaining siblings are scattered, and elderly. I'm the "baby" of the family at age 70, the others are in their 80's. My oldest sister will be 90 in February. We will be having Thanksgiving with cousins on the other end of Wake County.
I woke up early this morning with a sinus headache, and used my sauna machine to clear my head before having my breakfast of oatmeal and green tea. When I checked my email around 5 a.m. my eyes landed on a two-day-old headline from the New York Times, transforming the macabre to hilarity:
Turkey Shoots Down Russian Warplane Near Syrian Border
I sprayed tea all over the kitchen.