Most Thanksgivings when I was growing up were spent at my aunt and uncle’s home, north of Detroit. For awhile when I was younger, we alternated between my grandparents in Ohio and my aunt’s house in Michigan, but by the time I was a teenager, my grandparents were getting older and we’d pretty much settled into a routine of driving north after school on Wednesday afternoon and spending the holiday there. In Michigan, winter has come by Thanksgiving, and there was often snow on the ground, so we hunkered down in their house for the weekend, with only the occasional outing to the movie theater.
They had the perfect house for Thanksgiving: several extra bedrooms upstairs where we could spread out, a big kitchen that was perfect for loitering while things cooked, a little TV room where the parade or the football game was on, a lovely dining room with room for all of us around the table, and a gigantic living room couch to nap on when the food coma set in.
My aunt and uncle moved out of that house several years ago now, retired to Maine (they really like winter), and I haven’t even been back to Michigan for a long time. Now we’re more likely to head to Minneapolis or Florida for Thanksgiving. This week, we’re heading to Atlanta. I can’t wait to snuggle with our new baby niece, but I’ll be thinking about that kitchen on Masonic Ave.