Tuesday, November 22, 2011


The first Thanksgiving celebrations I can remember took place at my grandmother’s apartment. I’m not sure why we called their home grandma’s as grandpa lived there too along with the two youngest of my mom’s siblings who weren’t married yet. May be it’s because grandma did the cooking.

The celebration later moved to either my mom and dad’s apartment or one of my aunts. The afternoon was spent telling jokes, trying to top each other with puns, and having political discussions with everyone including the children offering their sometimes heated opinions in addition to eating, and enjoying the warmth of being with those we loved.

I became the Thanksgiving cook as a newlywed and the tradition continued with my in-laws and my parents, relatives and friends who were visiting New York.

After our parents passed on, the thought of Thanksgiving without them was hard to contemplate and we decided to take a trip to Italy. On Thanksgiving we were in Sorrento and the staff of the hotel prepared a special dinner for their American guests. All the appetizers were delicious and we anticipated the turkey as the lights in the dining room were lowered, a recorded fanfare sounded and the waiters paraded around the room each holding a large platter with a paper Mache turkey on top. We could hardly wait.

We raised our knives and forks and tried to cut a bite. The knives dug deeper and deeper—we sawed and sawed but finally, defeated, ate the side dishes knowing it’s really the thought that counts.

We returned to our rooms and heard fireworks, ran to the window and watched the sparkling patterns light up the sky. Fireworks, we thought, in honor of our holiday. The next day we learned the fireworks were in honor of a wedding. A very special occasion for the newlyweds and our Thanksgiving.

Have a happy Thanksgiving,


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