In honor of Thanksgiving, here are a few stories from some of the team members here at Wholesale Contractor Supply.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Like many, I have spent every Thanksgiving celebrating with my family. Meals were prepared together and we all set the dining room table with Mom’s fine china and crystal glassware. So many childhood stories were told while making way for new memories that my three older siblings and I would cherish forever.
4 years ago I spent my first Thanksgiving without my family due to my relocation to Florida. Honestly, I had no clue how to react to this new reality of spending a holiday without my family. I didn’t know a soul in Florida and although my family called to try their best to cheer me up, I simply felt lost. I decided to venture out and join the crowds of other displaced people at the local diner. I knew if nothing else, I was not going to miss my favorite dessert, pumpkin pie. I ordered the traditional Thanksgiving dinner and rushed to finish half of my dinner and placed the rest and the slice of pie in a to go box for later. Even though I was states away maybe I could find a little taste of home through dessert. Driving home I got off on my exit from the freeway and stopped in traffic on the ramp. To my left I saw an elderly lady holding a hand written sign. I’ll never forget what she had written, “ I’m hungry. Please let me work for food. God bless you.” As I pulled up beside where she was standing we made eye contact and I smiled at her. She smiled and waved as I rolled down my window. I asked if she was okay and she replied, “I’m hungry.” I reached over to the passenger seat and grabbed my box of leftover dinner and offered it to her. She thanked me many times and I rolled up my window and waited for traffic to move….then I remembered my pumpkin pie. I thought for a second because heaven knows I wanted my most favorite dessert, my taste of home, for later that night. I knew what I needed to do so she could have a complete Thanksgiving meal. Yes, I gave her my pie before I drove away.
I learned that although we may be away from all that we love and cherish on Thanksgiving, we need to remember the greatest gift we can give, even to strangers. The gift of love and compassion for our fellow man in all walks of life. That day I was thankful for this precious lady who crossed my path and enabled me to share my Thanksgiving dinner with her. I’ve thought of her often and hope her life is in a better place now.
A Change in Seasons
When you’re a kid, it seems like your holiday traditions will changelessly go on forever. In my memory, most Thanksgivings up until high school were almost identical. My mom, dad and I would load up the car when it was still dark to drive from Georgia to Mississippi—making some traditional stops along the way. Once we arrived to the Magnolia State, our time would be hectically divided between my mom’s and dad’s families. Both sets of grandparents had large houses, but during the holidays it seems like every room was full of babble and laughter. From the kitchen there was a constant clamor of pots and pans, delicious aromas spilling out of the vents. I don’t have any siblings, so time with my cousins was also something I always really looked forward to.
I don’t know how many Thanksgivings seem more or less identical, protected in my memory by that magic childhood bubble. However, as I started to grow up, it seemed like the holiday changed, too. Suddenly, no two were alike anymore. My older cousins were adults, and I would usually bring some project from school to work on with me. I began to really enjoy talking to my aunts, uncles and grandparents. We had a couple of years where sadness joined us. My uncle passed away one year right before Thanksgiving, and my mom died two years ago; I remember how we all looked helplessly at their empty chairs. I’ve also had some really special Thanksgivings since entering adulthood. When I married my husband (even before we were married) we began splitting up our holiday time; I’ve enjoyed bringing him into my family and being brought into his. Last year was one of the best–we used Thanksgiving as the opportunity to announce to the whole family that we were expecting our first baby.
Thanksgiving 2015 is here, and I know it will be different from any other Thanksgiving in a monumental way. It will have its share of sad moments. This year each branch of my extended family lost its patriarch. I never thought I’d lose both grandpas so close together, and my family will remember each of them as we gather together. It’s truly the end of an era. Maybe it’s the beginning of another. I see my aunts and uncles jumping in to fill, even more, the space that will be left in the orchestration of Thanksgiving. I feel myself moving into a new role, too. Despite the sadness, it will also be a happy Thanksgiving for my husband and I because it is our little girl’s first holiday. I know she brings a lot of joy to the whole family. My in-laws are also coming from Florida for the second year in a row to join the craziness of our Mississippi Thanksgiving.
The thing is, even though there are no more cookie-cutter Thanksgivings anymore, I can feel the start of some new traditions. Maybe they are traditions that my daughter will one day recognize as “the way holidays always were” when she was a little girl. Whatever changes, I know I can still always count on a few important things during Thanksgiving: a house full of happy chatter, delicious aromas filling the air, and the love of family, both old and new.
The Southern Turkey-Pocalypse
Shortly after my wife and I were married we made a trip to Mississippi for the annual family Thanksgiving festivities. I was not fully prepared for the experience I was about to partake in on that fateful journey. I had lived in Georgia for a while, and the peach state was much more “southern” than anywhere I had been before. Sure, my home state of Florida where I grew up is geographically located farther south than Georgia– but culturally? It’s as different as night and day. Florida is a transplant state – a mishmash of differing cultures. I mean it’s legitimately hard to find someone who lives in Florida whose family goes back at least one generation of Floridians.
Mississippi on the other hand is the true, deep south. Both sides of my wife’s family live in Mississippi, about half an hour apart from each other. Like many families that means two holiday celebrations, which generally occur on the same day: two Thanksgivings and two Christmas parties. Growing up, our Thanksgiving food tradition consisted of a Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and pie. What awaited me for my first Thanksgiving in Mississippi was what I still refer to as The “Turkey-pocalypse.”
There was more food than I knew what to do with. More food than anyone there could possibly eat, or even put a real dent in. Plates upon plates, meat upon meat-literally-my wife’s uncles makes something called a “Porkzilla” which involves about four layers of meats wrapped over each other. There were turkeys done every which way: smoked, roasted, fried, stuffed. I couldn’t help it; I found myself stacking my plate with massive amounts of delicious-looking food, many of which I never even knew existed.
After the “first” Thanksgiving meal which took place at lunch, I found myself in a right proper food-coma. I felt drugged, dazed even. I had a few hours to recover before Thanksgiving round 2 and I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t repeat the atrocity I had committed against my stomach again.
A few hours later I found myself standing in front of another table filled with massive amounts of food. While there was a bit of crossover from the previous Thanksgiving, many of the foods adorning the 2nd Thanksgiving table were new and begged to be tried. To be honest, when it was all over I wouldn’t have been able to tell you which Thanksgiving I consumed more food at. All I remember is at the end of the day I was lying belly-flat on the bed, in a passed-out food-drugged state while my wife laughed at me.
Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. Growing up I can remember waking up to the smell of the of turkey and dressing filling the air. Oh what a happy day! Now I am married and have to start traditions of my own. I will miss waking up to the smell of turkey and dressing.