A small flame

A small flame

Thanksgiving memories {a repost}

My Mom was so creative as she raised us in a foreign country. She wanted us to respect and appreciate the country we lived in, but also to have a sense of identity as Americans.

One of the ways she did this was our annual celebration of Thanksgiving. There were no relatives to get together with; no turkey to eat; and the weather was still relentlessly hot and sticky. But each year when the last Thursday in November rolled around, we celebrated anyway. We researched the first Thanksgiving celebrations and then had our own version of that first Thanksgiving - our annual 'Pilgrim and Indian Day'.

We bobbed for apples (my favorite activity), had archery contests with my brothers' bows and arrows {gifts from the people in Timbai}, and participated in wrestling contests {otherwise known as 'Dog-pile on Daddy'}. We also had a corn-husking contest, which was really just Mom's way of getting us to help her get the corn ready for our meal.

Our Thanksgiving meal - which we ate out on our lawn - consisted of a roasted chicken, cornbread, corn on the cob, and other vegetables. For desert, we ate little 'pumpkin' tarts, made with butternut squash bought in the open market.

Of course, no respectable Pilgrim and Indian Day would be complete without the appropriate costumes. Some years, we just made simple headbands with construction paper 'feathers' on them. However, one year Mom decided to go big on the costumes. She made a tall, black hat for Dad and used sewing machine to sew tissue paper bonnets for herself and for me. They were really works of art!

If only the story ended there . . . . but as luck would have it, when we sat down in our yard to eat our dinner that year, proudly decked in our hats, the new neighbor - recently arrived from Australia - came over to the fence to introduce himself.

I can still remember sitting by our picnic, giggling at the sight of my Dad, paper top-hat firmly in place, chatting with that neighbor. I've always wondered what that poor, unsuspecting guy thought of us in all our Pilgrim and Indian Day finery!

*These memories were originally shared as part of a series for Mommy's Piggy Tales, which encourages women to share stories of their childhood for future generations to enjoy. You can read other stories from my trip Down Memory Lane {here}


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