Monday, November 17, 2014

November Memory Stories Need To Be Written Now

We've just passed the middle of November. Before Thanksgiving pops up, you might give thought to writing your memories of Thanksgiving and November activities from your growing-up years to add to your Family Memories Book. 

While Thanksgiving is the prime event, there are other things that occur during this month. I wrote about them on November 3rd. If you missed it, take a look here. Something might trigger memories that you can write about. 

You can write about Novembers of your childhood or those in your early married life or even the ones that you spent in the first years of being a grandparent. All would have a place in your memory book. 

You might even write about the weather patterns in your area. The sunny Indian Summer days of October gave way to gloomy ones in November in the Chicago area where I grew up. It wasn't unusual to have a full week with no sun. The cold penetrated our bones because it was also a time of dampness. We even had an occasional snow in November. Here in Kansas, my children grew up knowing a few chilly days in November but also some warm, sunny ones where no coat was needed. The last of the leaves drifted down from the trees. This year, our November temps have been more like January for the past week or more and we're all looking forward to a warm-up and more normal temps as the week progresses. 

Thanksgiving is most likely of prime importance in our memories this month. We lived in a small 2 bedroom apartment, three flights up, when I was growing up. My mother turned out wonderful holiday meals in our tiny kitchen. One or both of my dad's sisters and their families often joined us making our apartment appear even smaller but no one seemed to mind. I never gave a thought to what my mother had to do to fix a meal for a large group or where to accomodate them. As a kid, I guess I thought it all happened with a wave of Mom's magic wand. Now, I realize what a feat she'd performed. The aunts brought side dishes or desserts to add to what Mom made. It wasn't an unusual occurrence to have a long freight train roll by on the tracks that parallelled our street during the meal. No one paid much attention to those trains since they were a part of our everyday life. 

After dinner, my cousins and I were shooed outside to play, no matter the weather, while the adults finished dessert and coffee and discussed this and that. As my female cousin closest to me in age and I got older, we were drafted to help with the clean-up after dinner. No dishwasher then so all the good china had to be washed and dried by hand. Carole and I were initially given the silverware to dry and put away, a job we both hated. But even so, I remember the feeling of being included with the adults. We liked it. Carole and I often rolled our eyes at one another over something one of the adult women said. Our other two female cousins were enough younger than we were that they got to go outside and play with the boys. No kitchen duty for them! 

I wrote a family story about the Thanksgiving when my children were small and we had both of Ken's brothers and their families plus Ken's mother at our house. It was a disaster and one Thanksgiving I'll never forget. Read it here. Another time, we had to eat in a restaurant because I was far too pregnant to have company or travel. Read that story here.

You each have memories of your own about Thanksgiving or other times in November. Now is the time to write those stories and add them to your book. 

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