- Episode 21 -
Now that the season is rapidly approaching, thoughts of holidays past always fill my mind. And those memories all seem to center around the four walls that were part of my childhood home.
Growing up in a small town called Tamaqua in northeastern PA, I was truly blessed to be surrounded by my entire family. My parents lived in a row home with my grandparents and aunt on the other side. The homes were connected in the basement by a door that allowed for the best hiding places to scare someone when they least expected it. My aunt, uncle and cousins lived behind us with another aunt, uncle and cousin to our right and my other grandmother down the street.
All the homes shared the same backyard with its flagstone-painted patio and picnic bench. The manicured lawn, accompanying walkway and white picket fence framed the many flowers and rose bushes that were the focal point of our little piece of heaven. I can still picture my grandfather watering that plot of green with a hose every night during the summer months while everyone else played cards under the patio lights.
But it’s Thanksgiving that always makes me reminisce even more.
Being the youngest, the celebration would begin when my brother would arrive home from college for the long holiday weekend. My grandparents’ home soon became the center of all the day’s activities for nearly 30 people who would come from far and wide.
I can hear my dad singing “Over the porch and through the door to grandmother’s house we go” as he did every year carrying our contribution to the day’s spread. Everyone was given a task for preparing the meal, and to this day I still have no idea how it all came together, piping hot, on the table and ready to eat just as Santa arrived in the Macy’s parade and the holiday season truly began.
The dining room table looked like a Norman Rockwell painting with the family surrounding it waiting on the turkey to arrive. And the kid's table in the living room wasn’t just for kids, but for anyone who wanted to be a “kid” for that day. Season after season, that feast was the best meal of the year.
The production of the cleanup was just as practiced as the meal itself. In my day, there were no dishwashers, so the production line of doing the dishes, drying them and putting them away was
The years have passed since those cherished Thanksgivings, and so have the family members who orchestrated them so well. And as I travel to Tampa to enjoy Thanksgiving with the new generation, I can’t help but pause for a moment to still smell that turkey cooking and feel the warmth of that home filled with everyone talking and laughing and just being together, as the snow came down outside.
That truly was a “home for the holidays”, and one I am very thankful to have enjoyed with the fondest of memories growing up.
Kay Conageski is a professional Realtor® with The Keyes Company based in Plantation, Florida. Check out her RESAAS profile ›