Thursday, November 25, 2010

Most memorable Thanksgivings

In thinking a bit this holiday morning about the most memorable Thanksgivings I've had in my life, it shocks me to realize they were all in my 20s.

Two of them came during an ill-advised first marriage in the middle of that decade. My husband and I had a good meal with my small family in Pittsburgh, then we went to see John Mellencamp in concert. It was at the height of Mellencamp's fame - around the "Lonesome Jubilee" - and it was a fine evening listening to him sing anthems of the heartland.

Either a year before or after that, the two of us trekked from Ohio to suburban Washington, D.C., where his eldest brother and family lived in the same cul de sac as a Supreme Court Justice. The sprawling house filled with people; the dinner was fairly exotic; and we all raked leaves outside afterward.

The last Thanksgiving of my 20s was my first out West. I'd wisely left my boy husband by then; my Dad, also on his own since my Mom's death two years before, flew from Pittsburgh to Salt Lake City on Thanksgiving morning. I drove down from Twin Falls to meet him, and we motored on to Moab. We had dinner at a restaurant overlooking the small town, then we spent the weekend exploring Utah's red-rocks country.

That was 21 years ago. I've had plenty of good and even interesting Thanksgivings since then - including one jet-lagged afternoon alone in Australia where I wound up having pasta al fresco and one with vegetarian friends who served lentil loaf and the best pies ever - but none that quite rank up with the trio from my 20s. This will change next year: the plan for 2011 is to fly to San Francisco to spend the holiday with my brother and his partner. It'll be the first Thanksgiving of my 50s and my daughter's last one before college. It's way past time to have a big-city holiday season kickoff.

Meanwhile, I am sure today will be lovely: the new "Harry Potter" movie followed by the buffet at the Owyhee Plaza. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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