Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Over the River and Through the Woods....

To Granny's House We GO!! Granny and Papaw are Mark's parents. He is Cajun, from southern Louisiana, hence our last name of Sonier(pronounced sawn-yer or sawn-yay or even swan-yay sometimes). She is from a small community near Henderson, Texas. They are both 80, we think. Granny didn't get a birth certificate when she was born so she is either 80 or 81 or maybe 79, nobody in her family can remember. Mark's sister was adopted in 1958, Mark in 1966. There is a saying that blood is thicker than water, meaning that biological familial ties are stronger than others. I believe in some cases this is true and in some cases it is not. In Mark's family there is no likeness of personalities, nobody "takes after" Granny or Papaw or Aunt Rhonda. He is so different from his parents and sister that it is as if they are strangers to each other, even if he has fishing and football in common with his dad. But there is the love and that can't be discounted. Granny loves us all even though she has weird ways of showing it. I am thankful they raised their son with good morals and values. I'm also thankful he is different from them.

Anyway, we are going there for Thanksgiving dinner! One of Granny's "things" is to do holiday meals. And boy does she do them up!! She decorates the whole house, bedrooms and bathrooms, hallways and game rooms included.
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She cooks huge meals fit for an army! Usually she has turkey and dressing, delicious homemade yeast rolls(these are to die for), sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, cream style corn, regular corn, green beans, pintos or red beans, smothered steak, ham, gravy, pies, cakes, cookies, and an assortment of congealed salads of the 1950s variety(nobody actually eats them though), it is an amazing sight. Not only does she do this for Thanksgiving but she turns around a month later and does it again for Christmas!! Over the past few years, as she has gotten a bit more frail, the dinners aren't as elaborate, she buys more pies and cakes than she makes and doesn't have as many veggies or salads as before. We don't expect her to cook a feast, in fact we've often wished that she wouldn't go to such effort. But, she is Granny and that is what she does to show her love. She would feel pretty useless and unwanted if she couldn't cook for us. Papaw even does the dishes after we eat, they don't have a dishwasher, he does them by hand. No, he won't accept offers of help.
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(Granny running it, Papaw washing and Mark getting in the way, Thanksgiving 2006)

This year, as in the recent past, we are bringing some side dishes. I'll be making a broccoli-rice casserole, scalloped potatoes, and a pumpkin cake, and maybe stewed cabbage. We'll eat, take a walk in the woods, and come home to watch the Cowboys play football. Sometimes we watch the whole game there, sometimes just until halftime. Tomorrow will be cooler so our walk might be shorter than usual, or it may be just the thing after being in the hot kitchen.
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I mentioned Granny's frailty. She has some health problems including dementia and a possible return of cancer(she had cervical cancer 12 years ago). Being stubborn, and scared, she is refusing to go to a doctor. Papaw isn't much better off. He is blind in one eye(from an optic stroke), has hypertension and high cholersterol, clogged arteries and is mostly deaf. His hands are full just trying to corral Granny. We know our Thanksgivings with them are coming to an end. Maybe this will be our last one. I hope not but it is not ours to know or say. Out of the past seventeen thanksgivings, I think we've only missed being there once or twice. I am thankful that we've been able to share in their blessing so often.


angeljoy said...

Love grannies. Hate to see them slowing down. Boy, can they cook! Love how they decorate! So full of personality!

Chickenbells said...

I'm so glad you were able to enjoy another Thanksgiving with them! It sounds like you guys have quite a feast...mmmmm, and surrounded by love? It's the best kind of all!