Thanksgiving Days of Old UPDATED WITH PHOTOS!

We’ll be having a quiet Thanksgiving this year. Mr. C’s sister’s family were supposed to come but since Mr.C has to work this weekend they ended up not making the long drive down.

I’m not even cooking, we’re going to go to Cracker Barrel.

I’m not feeling sorry for myself, truly I’m not. I’m thankful just to spend the day with Mr C, the Sassies, Pudge, and the rest of the critters.

I am blessed.

But I am looking back into the recesses of my mind and remembering our good old family gatherings.

In a tiny little bungalow in Detroit, where my folks raised 6 pretty darned good kids.

This was our house, probably not on Thanksgiving… but it’s Michigan so you never know!


The ping pong table in the basement was covered with a linen tablecloth and surrounded by folding chairs that were covered in velvet.


The good china was brought out, and the table was properly set. The china had pink flowers and a gold rim… so NOT like my Mom.

I remember the good silverware that was housed inside it’s own velvet-lined box and only used on special occasions.

Mom’s kitchen was smaller than my bathroom. But she made pumpkin pies and roasted the turkey and made all the trimmings too.

She made the best gravy… ever!

These pictures are not from Thanksgiving, but they give you an idea of how small the kitchen was…

sink side


turn around, take one small step and you’re on the stove side!


Since the kitchen was so tiny my Dad would carve the turkey down on his workbench. Everyone had to go in and pick at the bits and get pieces of the good crispy skin as he was carving. I seem to remember there always being a friendly argument between my brothers about who got the drumsticks.


My Aunt Margie would always come for the holiday dinners. She lived in Downtown Detroit at Carmel Hall. I loved to go with whoever picked her up or to take her home afterwards because it was a grand old building with an old fashioned elevator that had a gate and even a uniformed elevator operator.

Here’s Aunt Margie…


My Gramma and Grampa (Mom’s folks) would always come too. Grampa always had quarters in his pocket for me. But he called them “big nickels”. My Gramma always brought her special raspberry jello.


I don’t remember if the other guests ever brought anything… does anyone else remember?

Once in awhile Mom’s sister, Aunt Nan would come. She always seemed so very mysterious to me. In truth, I think she was just overwhelmed by the sheer chaos of so many people in such a confined space. Pictures of Aunt Nan are scarce, but there she is at the table in the photo above wearing the fashionable brown pants suit with a white shirt.

Sometimes my Aunt Anna would come from Milwaukee. She had a soft , kind of high-pitched voice. She ALWAYS wore a dress and a pearl necklace.


I vaguely remember that my cousins would come on occasion before my Dad’s brother, Uncle Eddie died. I don’t think they came after that.

I don’t know how all of those people could be in that tiny little house and it not feel crowded, but it never did… it just felt special.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and are making special memories of your own.
If any family members have additional memories to share I would love to hear them!

Or if anyone else wants to share a memory, please do!


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17 Responses to Thanksgiving Days of Old UPDATED WITH PHOTOS!

  1. BFG says:

    Thanks for that sis- it truley was a special time- You and Mr. C have a wonderful Thanksgiving

  2. CapriP says:

    That is EXACTLY how I remember it too! I have that silverware….still in its special lined box…..want it? Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your quiet day. Love you

    • caprilis says:

      I have what is left of the china… maybe one of the girls would like it… although none of them are really the pink flower type either.

  3. Capri K says:

    I know what you mean about the tiny kitchen! We had the same style house as my Grandparents and my Grandma hosted many holidays and cooked all sorts of scrumtrulescent things and I never thought her house was small either!
    All of the Hoovers had big basements where tables were set up to accomodate the big crowds. They all had an extra stove down there too. I remember someone using an old door covered with a tablecloth.
    We have 15 this year, tiny by comparison!
    I heard about a woman at BSF who is having an open house and invited 75!!! Holy Moley!!!

  4. Capri K says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Mr. C! Wish you were here. I recommend the pot roast at The Cracker Bear! Love you!

  5. Laurie says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Cam and all the critters.
    I do not remember velvet covers on the card table chairs. I remember that Grandma used to make the turkey in a big roaster and brought it over so Mom would have more oven space. Maybe that changed as the family spread in different directions. I am making Grams’ jello salad to take to the Crosbys tomorrow. Also an apple pie and sweet potatoes.
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    • caprilis says:

      Can’t believe you don’t remember those folding chairs that had green velvet seats and backs. We didn’t have enough for everyone but there were probably 6-8 of them.
      I don’t remember Grams bringing the turkey.

    • caprilis says:

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and please give our love and good wishes to Char and Dan too.

  6. Penny says:

    How fun to share in your Thanksgiving memories! It sounds like such a wonderful time. I enjoyed your post very much. And I hope you’ll enjoy your quiet Thanksgiving at home with your hubby and critters – and the nice Cracker Barrel meal! We’re staying in for a quiet one here. I roasted a turkey 2 weekends ago to make room in our freezer for venison (so far it seems that was wishful thinking! We’ll see what next week brings……) so I’m gonna whip up some hot and sour soup, egg rolls, and fried rice for our Thanksgiving meal and we plan to eat it on TV trays while watching the Redskins lose….er I mean play. Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!

  7. Nan Essler says:

    Thanks for the memory trip, Lisa. I always think of those feasts on Thanksgiving. Yes, Gramma cooked the turkey at our house and we brought it over. But, when she got too old, your Mom took over. It was a magnificent feast every time! I’d give anything for one of those dinners now.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Your mysterious Aunt Nan

  8. Capri K says:

    Your house looked a LOT like ours in Redford! How did your Mom raise 6 kids in there? I could barely fit ONE!!!
    Our kitchens were very similar.

    I am always very struck by how dressed up people were for holidays! Dresses and pearls and TIES! I dress in jeans and Honey wears his Thanksgiving pants, the ones with extra give in the waist!

    Thankful for you Dear.

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