Over the river and through the woods… a song portraying the Thanksgiving ride to a family gathering like so many Hallmark movies today.
Thanksgiving of 1972.
Our house was the designated home for all our family and any extras to enjoy the day as well.
The set up:
• Guests arrive
• Blessing proclaimed
• Seating strategy- adults in the dining room… children’s table in the kitchen (this did not seem to have an age requirement other than one not being married).
• Adults were seated in our dining room which was massive, seating 16 plus guests. The children’s table was in the kitchen, a smodge podge of odd tables forming a big enough area for all of us to sit either in a chair or even atop a tall stool.
• Important to note, although the adults were in the dining room, they could still hear the children in the kitchen as the two rooms were divided by a dual fireplace serving both the kitchen and the dining room on the other side.
The historic incident:
I was one of the last to get my meal, leaving me to eat only from a tall stool. I perched myself on top of it delving into my Thanksgiving feast. Then it happened.
Directly to my right was my next oldest brother. He was a practical joker- pulling crazy surprises on all of us whenever possible. This day would be no different. I felt a nudge to my right- as I turned around, inches from my face was a giant, gaping mouth of partially chewed food and mashed potatoes. Gross! It was more than I can bare- so I gave my brother (who is enjoying my torment) a shove with my hand. BOINK, CLUNK, CAPOW the explosion of blows that erupted were fast and furious at our end of table. Then, with precision and great might he gave me a WHACK which made me fly from my stool and land with a thundering crash on to the kitchen floor. The entire table fell silent, mid-chew and with utter surprise as to what was happening at the far end of the kitchen. I quickly jumped to my feet and perched myself atop of the stool. Of course, the loud commotion had drawn concern from the adult room across the fireplace roar and my mom flew into the kitchen to see what was interrupting her Thanksgiving peace. Like church mice we all sat there as though nothing had happened. No one was going to “rat” out the scuffle. I uttered I’d fallen off the stool and was fine – giving a crooked glance to my brother. Mom returned to the dining room skeptical but glad she didn’t have to give us “a come to Jesus talk.” Great laughter ensued at our table as we began to enjoy the rest of the meal describing the pandemonium with intense grandeur and embellishments.
Thanksgiving 2022 – my home, now the designated gathering spot for family and friends.
And yes- the story from Thanksgiving 1972, when I was flung from my stool, will resurface.
WHACK, ZOINK, POW – Over the river and through the woods to Thanksgiving Day we go.