Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Years of Thanksgiving

MARK’S ARTICLE – November 26, 2009 “Thanksgiving”

There is no better time of the year than from now till about the second day in January. I just love it. Can’t get enough of it… oh, baby. (Sorry. I was working on a song there. I’m through.)

What makes me/us get so excited about this time of year is the memory of the fun we had last year at this time. It was the stuff of traditions. Traditions are fun. They’re seldom as fun as you remember, but what is? The bad thing about traditions is the fact that they’re gonna croak. They just have to.

The Hayters used to always gather at Mom’s on Thanksgiving and chow down, rest a few minutes and then play football. Started out as flag football, ended up as a brawl. I loved it, and I’m sure you all loved reading about it. What?

But those days are gone. Mom’s not here to cook all that food for one thing. For another, she’s not here for the big football game. I remember I used to whisper to Big Al (captain of the other team) that we were getting ready to call Mom’s number. That meant, let the woman catch the ball.

Lynda would hike me the ball and I’d lob it to Mom, who would occasionally catch the thing. The times she did, she’d start screaming and running in some direction until somebody brought her down. Can’t do that anymore.

Can’t pile on top of our big brother Larry after he makes a fantastic catch, while ending up in a sea of mud. Oh, those were the days. No more. And, that’s a good thing. I would absolutely break if someone tackled me today. Or, piled on top of me. I don’t mean I’d pull something or dislodge something. I would absolutely break. “What happened to Mark?” – “I think he broke.”

Truth is, our entire Thanksgiving tradition is pretty much a thing of the past. Last year, Kay and I had Thanksgiving at our house. Only Big Al and Jill’s family came. The others did their own thing with in-laws and grandkids. We had plenty of leftovers.

This year, Kay and I are again hosting Thanksgiving. And, again, it will only be Jill and Al’s families here. We’ll have a blast, but it won’t become a tradition. I won’t let it. I much prefer showing up somewhere else and leaving once the fun is gone. You can’t beat a deal like that.

Fortunately, I have a plan to kill any notion of a Mark’s House Thanksgiving Tradition. This year, after we eat, I’m going to get people to help me take down a dead tree. A sweetgum that lightning got to. I’ll have ‘em sawing and chopping and stacking until they’re begging to go home. Yeah, they’re gonna remember this one.

I think I’d even have Mom’s blessing on this thing. She was always reasonable. Couldn’t play football worth a flip, but she was a wise woman. If they have football in heaven, she’s probably running and screaming to beat the band. She was an easy take down. We had to tackle her on top of Larry, so he could cushion her fall and keep her from breaking.

We didn’t wanna break Mom. Moms are the stuff of tradition. You’ve just gotta hold to ‘em till you can’t. Then you move along.

Well, on that note, Happy Turkey Day, readers. Let’s have fun out there. – Next time.



  1. We sure did have the BEST Thanksgiving and Christmas football games. Man what fun we had! You're correct about the breaking, Moke... tackling would definitely break each one of us.
    Thanksgiving at your house was GREAT this year. Kasey & you sure can cook! It was all very yummy and much appreciated! Was great fun to play with Clintrock's kids and to sit and talk together.
    You & Kasey did great... thank y'all so much for everything! Hugs & moochies, your little sister, jill

  2. Our Family was sure full of fun back then.. maybe I'm just remembering the good times.