Passing the Torch

This past Sunday I gave each of my daughters a great big hug and watched them drive away. Mackenzie, back to her apartment and job in the city, and Talee, back to college. We’d had a wonderful Thanksgiving week, and I treasured every moment. Talking, laughing, cooking, eating, shopping, cuddling — my girls back in the nest for five glorious days.

It was a different Thanksgiving. Great, just different. Talee’s boyfriend spent a few daysย  with us, which was a lot of fun and nice to get to know him better. And for the first time in many years, we didn’t host the big turkey dinner.

I love to have family over to celebrate Thanksgiving. I set the tables with cranberry-colored tablecloths, the china we received as wedding gifts, and name tags personalized by Talee.

One of my nephews and his wife recently moved and were excited to host their first Thanksgiving in their new home. At first I was hesitant to give up our traditions. Even Mackenzie and Talee wanted to keep it at our house.

But I have to admit, I was intrigued by the thought of not planning, organizing, and cooking the main course. A year off could be nice.

It turned out amazing, and beautiful, and delicious. Forty of us, gathered to celebrate and count our many blessings.

I can’t remember a Thanksgiving when my dad didn’t carve the turkey. At our house, he sits at the kitchen counter and expertly slices, using an electric knife. I’ve watched his technique many times. Each year I think he’s going to say he doesn’t want to do it, but that has never happened. My family has dozens, maybe hundreds, of pictures and videos of Dad cutting the turkey.

I wondered what was going to happen at my nephew’s house. Would Dad step in? It wouldn’t feel right if he didn’t. But maybe it was time.

Not quite yet. My dad wanted to pass the lesson on to my nephew. It made me smile to see them with gloves on, hunched over the bird. Dad was intent on teaching his grandson the proper way to carve. My nephew was unsure of his first attempt. He did great.

I realized at that moment that the torch was being passed. The younger generation learning from the older one. This is how traditions are carried on.

Our family made special memories at the feast last week. I was able to relax, and it felt good just to be in charge of the green bean casserole and homemade macaroni and cheese.

I’m not saying I’ll never host Thanksgiving again. I’m sure I will. And I’m also certain my dad will still offer to carve the turkey, as long as he is able. But life is changing. It’s time.

First image courtesy of here

Second image courtesy of here


31 thoughts on “Passing the Torch

  1. What a beautiful story of your Thanksgiving. Yes, it is inevitable, but at some point the passing of the torch does happen. I can just imagine how proud your dad was, showing his grandson how to carve the turkey, the proper way. Lovely times, and amazing memories. Hugs x

    Liked by 3 people

  2. What a wonderful time you shared together as a family. More special memories being created as family traditions are handed down. I can’t think of anything more precious. Thank you for sharing this with us. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed your post. I cooked three company dinners Thanksgiving week to be able to spend time with everyone. Spaghetti with one son and his family Wednesday, on the actual day we had steak and crabcakes…for a small group. The next day a big Thanksgiving dinner for the largest crowd. It was a good year, and one I’ll remember, sometimes it’s good to shake things up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, it is good to shake things up! Wow, you were busy last week with all that cooking! Sounds lovely though, and I’m sure it was nice to spend time with family and friends. Steak and crab cakes sound yummy ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a wonderful and important story. If we, as the parents, never step aside to allow the younger ones to learn then how will they know how to move forward in life when we are gone? Such an important thing to think about. Thank you for sharing your Thanksgiving story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! You’re so right. The older generations need to let the younger ones learn and also have their special moments. Even though it’s bittersweet to hand down those traditions, it’s necessary. Thanks for your kind words!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Times are a changing….a couple years ago my daughter shared with me, probably didn’t even realize just how deep it cut my soul…..that her and her wonderful husband have started a tradition on Thanksgiving at his brothers…they live 3 hours away, and are wonderful people, he has 2 brothers and a wonderful step-mom who also lives there…..she spoke of the fun, and traditions they were all creating together, they are all musical inclined so lots of singing… heart broke and was full of happiness for her, when I was young, we all meet, our family, big turkey, football, walks after dinner…that was a long, long time ago….I am happy for her….its hard when the torch has been passed to the next generation, but its also a wonderful feeling that they are making wonderful memories……I love the story of you father….my dad always carved the turkey too…Happy Holidays……kat

    Liked by 1 person

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