Memories light the corner of my mind…misty water-colored memories of the way we were…
– From The Way We Were –
This is one of the songs I’ll be singing today, along with Kermit’s Rainbow Connection, and the bittersweet romantic duet, You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.
These songs, you see, have become inextricably linked with my family’s Thanksgiving traditions. Yeah, we’re a little weird, I suppose. Instead of singing Over the River and Through the Woods, we’re doing Broadway.
As a family, we’ve always loved to sing…or at least, to give it an all-out try. Blame it mostly on Lizzy, who while growing up decreed that we should record every moment of every family event either through tape recordings, camcorders, or now — thanks to the ease and convenience of cell phones — through quick videos.
We have videos of the roller coaster at Worlds of Fun (“Say something, Mom!”), a collection of family interviews (“Now, this is my Aunt Jill, and she’s getting ready to set the table…), and enough footage to keep “America’s Funniest Videos” stocked for a year.
OK, maybe not. I do tend to exaggerate. But we do have a lot of hilarious clips of our family performing our holiday music. No, I will not post any videos. No sound clips either. Trust me, you don’t want to hear that infamous rendition of Rainbow Connection where Lee pinched Lizzy at a critical high note, or any of the crazy, I-don’t-remember-the-words moments, or the calamitous times when the sheet music has inadvertently been knocked off the piano during a frantic page turn. Professional, we’re not. But we have fun.
Even Anna, the parrot, gets in on the fun. She loves to sing.
This year, our celebration is a bit smaller than usual. Lizzy won’t be able to make it. Neither will Lee. The oldest daughter has to be at work at 6:00 AM, so she’s out. Yes, it’s true. Children grow up, move away, have families of their own, and sometimes old traditions live on only in memories.
Then there are those who have gone away. My little sister left us in 2007. Rest in peace, Janice Sue. Others have passed away over the years, too, but they will always be in our memories, always a part of our Thanksgiving celebration.
I probably won’t be sitting down at the piano today. We’re not really doing much for Thanksgiving. Ham instead of turkey. No cranberries, no stuffing, no pumpkin pies. Just a few folks stopping by early for a slice of apple pie and a cup of coffee before they head out to other celebrations.
But when I close my eyes tonight and say a prayer for all my blessings, I’ll be silently singing and thinking about the many beautiful, water-colored memories that will always light the corners of my mind. They light the corners of my heart, as well.
Happy Thanksgiving! May every day be a day for gratitude and blessings!