BREAKING WITH TRADITION
24 November 2002
years now, as Thanksgiving approaches, Ive thought about sitting down to write an
entry called Tradition. I
actually did it in 2000, which I realized when I started to do it again in 2001. I told about the 30 or so years weve been
going to Walts mothers condo at Lake Tahoe, about how we used to play charades
and how now we play solitaire and card games. I
talked about how it was a pot-luck dinner so nobody had to do a lot of work and how much
we looked forward to it every year.
changed when David died. Thanksgiving at
Tahoe was very difficult that year, and as we joined hands to say grace before dinner, a
lot of tears were shed, but we gave thanks that the family unit was strong.
died. I hated Thanksgiving that year (1999). We were used to death by then (she says,
sarcastically). The tears were there, the
family was there, the pumpkin pie was there. The
solitaire was there, but as I looked around at now two empty places, I knew that it would
never be the same again.
When we went
to Tahoe for Thanksgiving in 2000, I tried to concentrate on the good memoriesand
there are very good memories connected with that condo.
That helped a little, but it just doesnt seem right to continue the family
traditions when the family has changed so drastically.
Last year we
once again made the 2 hour drive. By this
time, the whole family dynamic had changed even more.
Ned and Marta now split their time, one year with us, one year with Martas
family. Tom and Laurel (did I mention
theyre engaged now?) also spend one year with her family and one year with us, and
they trade off Thanksgiving and Christmasif theyre with us for Christmas, they
arent for Thanksgiving, and vice versa.
So there are
new missing faces, at least on some years.
I know that
change is inevitable. Maybe I dont do
change well. The adjustment seems to be more
difficult for me with each passing year.
So this year
we are breaking with tradition entirely. Since
Tom and Laurel have just announced their engagement and since they spent a weekend in LA
with our family recently, they are staying with Laurels family this year (also they
are actually here this weekendto do some work at the condo before the folks arrive
for Thanksgiving, and to go to the 49er game on Monday night).
Ned and Marta will be with Martas family this year.
Martas step-mother just lost her own mother and its a time for that
family to pull together.
At the same
time, my mother decided she didnt feel like making the long drive up to Tahoe this
year so we are going to do things entirely differently.
going to Tahoe with his mother, sister, brother and sister-in-law. Im making pumpkin pies as usual for him to
take with him.
Tom and Ned
will be with their respective other families. Jeri,
since she was just here for the wedding and is now teaching classes at Berklee College of
Music, cant fly out here for a weekend, so she will be with friends in Boston. And my mother and I are going to a
restauranta fancy restaurantfor dinner.
never spent Thanksgivingor any family holidayat a restaurant and am actually
kind of excited about it. The obvious plus is
that there will be no pumpkin pie or turkey stuffing calling to me at 3 a.m. I wont worry about points or anything else
while were at the restaurant, but it will be easy to take up where I left off when
dinner is over.
moving on. The family is still strong in our
love for one another, but time inevitably changes things, people grow and change and move
on to new parts of their lives.
love to be looking forward to a rousing game of charades, with David and Paul laughing at
Grandmas attempts to act out some funny song title.
But those days have faded into memory. I
will always treasure the wonderful memories I have of the condo. But maybe its time to move on.