Each Thanksgiving, I am thankful that I don’t get what I once wished for.Thanksgiving- feast

A little background first.

I enjoy being with my wife’s family, fresh in from Columbus, Ga., Alabama and east Tennessee. We kick and toss the football. In the evening, we gather ‘round the old upright Strohber piano to sing time-honored Christmas songs and hymns.

In between, there is one fabulous meal.

Everyone does their part, bringing in relish plates, casseroles, sweet potatoes, rice, English peas, desserts, fresh cranberry and a whole lot more. It took me a while to get used to pickled peaches, but I’ve worked through it.

The menu never varies. I rarely contribute.

One holiday, I asked my wife to shake things up a bit, to try something different. How about some oyster dressing? Susan listened and continued her cleaning.

She was up that Thanksgiving morning by 5 a.m., like every year, getting the bird in the oven and hustling to have the house and main dishes ready.

Relatives arrived. We exchanged warm hugs and caught up on life. The smell of turkey and giblet gravy wafted through the house.

Around 2 p.m., we gathered in the kitchen and dining room for the customary blessing.

rocky_mountain_oystersAfterward, Susan announced to the 18 hungry people that – per my request — she had decided to try something different this Thanksgiving.

She looked at me, opened the oven and removed a small pie pan.

Mountain oysters. Fried and sliced.

“Here’s your something different,” she said.

Several years have since passed. Thanksgiving still brings fellowship and the occasional new niece or nephew.

And I’ve learned a lesson from my wish.

I’m thankful for tradition.

###
Phil Gast

Phil Gast

Phil Gast is a writer-editor living in the Atlanta area.