by Hilda Maston
I was eleven years old.
It was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and I had tonsillitis. I couldn‘t swallow a thing. I was miserable and wanted my Mom and Dad and my two brothers and two sisters to be as miserable as I was.
The family was scheduled to go across town to have Thanksgiving dinner with my Dad‘s brother and family. My relaxed Uncle Slim and my jolly Aunt Edna had a big family — seven children.
We kids thought Aunt Edna was amazing because she was part French and did her housework in high heels.
The discussion among my family was ongoing — what were they going to do with ailing Hilda, if they go the Uncle Slim‘s? I was in a lot of discomfort and I didn‘t think I could cope with all those noisy people — twelve happy, rambunctious kids all in the same place (including my four siblings).
My Mom thought I should not be left at home alone, and Dad thought I was old enough to handle being by myself.
I just wanted all of them to go away and leave me to my misery. I knew I was all grown up!
So finally they all left, leaving me with many instructions and orders to eat some ice cream, if I could get it down. (I couldn‘t.)
Needless to say, it was a long, long day for me. I read everything I could get my hands on, even the Saturday Evening Post. I listened to the radio (this was before the advent of TV).
And I tried to be patient.
As soon as it began to get dark, I stayed by the window, waiting and hoping to see a pair of headlights pull into our driveway. It seemed I watched for hours, but it wasn‘t that long before I saw our car turn into our drive.
The family trooped in, carrying plates and boxes that smelled so good. I was really hungry and I couldn‘t wait to dive into the plate that Aunt Edna had fixed for me.
I grabbed a fork out of the kitchen drawer and took a little mashed potatoes and gravy.
But my tonsillitis wouldn‘t let me swallow a thing — not even the littlest bit. I gazed at the lovely pumpkin pie and knew that I couldn‘t eat that either.
After a few days, I was able to swallow, but by then, my brothers had eaten all the Thanksgiving leftovers.
Is it any wonder that the memory of this particular Thanksgiving stays with me?