Other Memories of Childhood
Our mealtimes were always a time for the family to sit together. Dad worked two jobs so he wasn't home every meal time, but he was there on weekends. At our table Dad sat at one end and Mom at the other, the one closest to the kitchen. Randy and Rolly sat on one side and Pam and I sat on the other side. I sat next to Mom. I remember eating meatloaf or roast beef. Along with the meat we'd always have potatoes, usually mashed, but sometimes Mom would make au graten or scalloped. And a vegetable or salad. Mom made the best Waldorf salad, with walnuts and apples. It was a favorite of mine. Rolland always ate his salad with no dressing and I doused mine in dressing. We always set the table with napkins, all the silverware and glasses of ice water. If we wanted milk with our meal we could have that, too. Sometimes Dad would let us have soda with our meal. We had family discussions at the table, and usually none got out of hand...at least as far as I can remember.
When we moved to Ohio and it was just Mom, Dad and I, meal times were still together times and when Dad wasn't working Mom would cook a whole meal. If he was at work, she and I would have things like grilled cheese or canned spaghetti or TV dinners. While we ate we usually played a game of cribbage or gin rummy.
At Thanksgiving we always had a BIG feast. We didn't "celebrate" Thanksgiving, but Mom and Dad's anniversary since it was so close to that date. We would have turkey, ham, stuffing, potatoes, all the fixings of a typical Thanksgiving dinner. I used to like putting the relish tray together and would eat all the black olives so I'd have to open another can. Ruth and her family always came over and us kids would watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The men always settled in and watched a football game. You know, until now I never realized that they did that... a memory lapse perhaps. I can remember Tony and Dad on the recliners watching TV. We didn't celebrate the holidays so we didn't get together on Christmas or Easter or anything. Thanksgiving was our big day. We did, however, always have a New Year's Eve party. It was usually for us kids to invite our friends (and their parents) over. Of course the kids didn't drink alcohol. We'd have soda and pizza or something. Dad always took this opportunity to show the vacation pictures/slides/movies from our family vacation that year, too. I don't know how many people just watched out of courtesy and how many really enjoyed it. But we always had a big crowd. Our home (both of them) were big magnets for friends to come over, usually just dropping by unexpected. Mom didn't mind. She didn't keep the cleanest of homes, but it was clean ehough. She didn't care what others thought of her clutter...not like me.