The Uphill Slide

There is always something.



Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go.

Now I’m the grandmother.  A family minus the smallest plus one. Anyone can join us.

Holidays deserve celebration throughout the year. Religious or secular. But I do have one cherished Thanksgiving memory tucked away.

Our kitchen was finished. The sunroom erected and extended over a back porch. The roll-up wood blinds arrived just in time. The twiggy Christmas tree on a cold slate floor dressed up with a gold skirt and embellished with twinkle lights and fruit and vegetable ornaments. The symbolic harvests.

A new recipe—pumpkin cheesecake. And another—cranberry conserve standing in competition to sliced cranberry jelly. My pecan pie with concentric circles of whole pecans. Mashed potatoes made with cream cheese and stuck in the oven to wait their turn. A stuffed turkey’s aroma greeting guests at the door. My brother-in-law, with skills, was the executive chef.

Our combined families less a couple of members. It was the kind of holiday I dreamed about. Too many people for one room. I was always envious of the holiday photos and stories my in-laws told of before my time. They who had enough brothers and sisters to make a party. I wanted it.

But let’s face it. The most anticipated holidays generate the highest stress. Striving for perfection and accord but often difficult to ignore the undercurrents and divides. Even my memory ended on a sour note.


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