Janey Way Memories #109: My Most Memorable Janey Way Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving coming next week, I harken back to the many wonderful Thanksgiving celebrations I experienced on Janey Way. One in particular stands out.
In October of 1971, I returned home after a 2-year hitch in the U. S. Army. After such a long time away, the old neighborhood never looked better to me. It seemed remarkably unchanged.
I looked forward to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday because my sister Pat and brother Terry were coming, and I had not seen them for years. Pat had moved away years earlier to Wisconsin where her husband attended graduate school. Her sons Dylan and Brenden were born there in 1971.
My brother Terry left Janey Way in 1968 to serve a tour of duty in Viet Nam. Thankfully, he returned unscathed and I could not wait to see him.
When the holiday finally arrived, it did not disappoint. Terry flew in from Denver Colorado the day before, and we stayed up late that night, playing Scrabble and sharing our stories.
Still, we arose early on Thanksgiving Day to drink coffee and watch Mom prepare the Thanksgiving feast. Terry, an aspiring chef, tried to give Mom pointers on cooking turkey. She would not have it. “I have been doing this for years, Terry,” she said, “There is nothing you can tell me.” With that, Terry and I adjourned to the living room to watch the Oklahoma/Nebraska football game.
A little after noon, my sister arrived with her new baby boys. They looked so cute, with big blue eyes and plenty of energy. I was amazed. Her son Dylan looked so much like my father. Dad picked the boys up and bounced them on his knee. He seemed so proud of them.
Pat, Terry and I spent the rest of the afternoon sharing stories of our recent adventures. Pat told us of the frigid mid-west winters. Terry described the humidity and the danger in Viet Nam. We were so happy he came home safely. I told them of the snow white Christmas’ in Germany where I served. We had a great time. Then mom called us to dinner at 4:00p.m. sharp.
We settled around the big dining room table to say grace, then dad poured champagne and made a toast. “To my children who have returned home at last, salute.”
Our family has shared many wonderful Thanksgivings since that day, but I have never forgotten that one.
Best wishes to you and your families for a happy, healthy Thanksgiving.


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