Flowers in vintage industrial mold from Bow Street Flowers

Holidays always seem to spark memories.  I have many more Christmas memories than I do Thanksgiving memories but I do remember my grandfather, who lived next door with my grandmother, going to pick up my great grandparents so they could have Thanksgiving dinner with us.  My grandfather, the son and grandson of Baptist ministers, was a very stern man.  He and my grandmother always ate dinner with us and there were strict rules.  Children were not to speak unless spoken to at the dinner table.  My father worked very long hours so my grandfather was the disciplinarian.  A few severe trangressions resulted in my brother and I having to go in search of switches which we subsequently received across our backsides. He was always gruff and barked orders like Rooster Cogburn in True Grit.  My grandfather loved the west and I'm sure John Wayne was a role model. 

My grandparents actually took me to see True Grit at the theater.  I was a young boy, probably too young to see it, and I had no interest in it.  I swear it ran for about 12 hours.  I would have fallen into the rattlesnake pit than spend another minute in that theater. 

Another thing I recall about Thanksgiving is sitting around a the table after dinner playing card games.  There were bunches of red and green grapes, all filled with seeds that my mother insisted would block your bile duct if you swallowed them.  My mother had her gall baldder taken out so we assumed she was an expert on things that would block our bile ducts. 

I also recall bowls of mixed nuts.  I have to wonder, in today's world of immediate gratification--cell phones, texting, Twitter and a movement of people demanding jobs right now--if nuts in their shells are an anachronism.  Are people still willing to crack in to a whole pecan and pick out the morsels from the broken shell?  It seems like a lot of work to go to when I can buy the same shelled nuts in a plastic container and just dump it in a bowl, ready to eat a handful at a time.
As I watched the 24-hour news station last Saturday morning while enjoying my Keurig coffee, I surfed through 900 some-odd channels of television shows and movies-on-demand and I saw a listing for True Grit.  I was curious about about the movie and I hit record on my DVR.  I watched the movie later that evening through different eyes. 

My grandfather died when I was a teenager so there are a lot of things I never had a chance to ask...or to iron out.  Seeing those panoramic landscapes must have been breathtaking on the big screen.  My grandfather would have really appreciated that knowing my mother has boxes and boxes of photographic evidence taken of scenery from my grandparent's trips out west.  I can't say I loved the movie but I enjoyed it...and perhaps I understand him just a little bit better.

I hope to make this Thanksgiving a little slower than usual.  I'll use my everyday plates mixed with some of my grandmother's transferware and other odd pieces I've found here and there over the years.

Carrots and Parsnips image via MarthaStewart, Brussels Sprouts via Pinterest
We'll enjoy a tradtional Thanksgiving dinner at the Urban Cottage. A four-day weekend is a vacation for me and I'll spend that time with family and friends with whom I can make new memories...hopefully better and more clear than the fading ones.  

And I have a bowl of mixed nuts.  They will just sit on the table waiting to see if anyone will take the time to slow down and enjoy them. 

* * * * *

This year I'm particularly thankful for the new friends, both local and worldwide, that blogging have made possible. I never could have imagined when I started this blog to document the process of getting a variance to add a porch to the front of my house, that anyone would be interested in what I had to say, or that I would make new friends, or that a magazine would want to photograph from my house in their decorating book.

For this new world of opportunities and for all of you, I am extrmely thankful. 

I hope you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!