“Over the river and through the woods to granddaughters’ house we go…”

OK, those aren’t the original words to the song we always sang as a kid, as we made our way to our grandparents’ house for Thanksgiving. But for the past decade or so, those are the words the wife and I sing as we travel to the daughter’s house for the Thanksgiving, a holiday she claimed about 17 years ago.

“Mom,” the daughter said over the phone, “You are in charge of pies. You can bake pumpkin and pecan ahead of time, but save the apple to bake with the girls. It’s tradition.”

“Dad,” the daughter said over the phone, “you are in charge of the cranberry sauce. You can make it here with the girls. They love grinding the cranberries. It’s tradition. But no shoving your thumb in the grinder. The sauce of 2018 had a funny taste.”

“Honey,” the wife said over the phone, “do you want me to bring my mother’s entire set of Blue Willow china? It has an exceptional gravy boat in case the gravy is lumpy.”

“No Mom,” the daughter said. “My white-on-white china will be just fine. It’s your china, mom, and we’ve used it for the past five years — it’s tradition.”

“Listen sweetie,” I said to the daughter over the phone, “check with your hubby about any home projects that we may be working on. I can bring my tool box, a circular saw, an electric sander and Band-Aids. I remember the Thanksgiving of 2016 … almost lost a thumb sawing a 2x4 with a hedge pruner.”

“We’re good, dad,” the daughter said. “Don’t worry about bringing tools. What we don’t have we’ll borrow from neighbors. But bring the Band-Aids. It’s tradition.”

“Mom,” the daughter reminded, “the Ohio State/Michigan game is on Saturday. Could you remember to order breadsticks from home for the game?”

“Absolutely, honey!” the wife said. “It’s tradition.”

“Dad,” the daughter asked, “the girls love it when you have a game or craft to do over the weekend. Do you think you can come up with some sort of non-dangerous activity that won’t require Band-Aids?”

“Of course I can,” I said. “You’re probably referring to the stained glass pilgrim project of 2019. That did get a bit bloody. I’ll pick a different media. What do you think of toothpick turkeys? I’ll bring Band-Aids.”

Thanksgiving is all about traditions. Every family has them. Every family loves to repeat them year after year. It’s all about the food preparations, the delicious smells, the silly behavior, the endless laughter, the over-eating, the football games on TV, the pumpkin, pecan, and apple pies and all the pre-holiday phone calls so necessary to make sure every detail is just perfect.

From my family to yours, may this be a wonderful Thanksgiving full of your very own family traditions … and don’t forget the Band-Aids.

Raul Ascunce is a freelance columnist for the Sentinel-Tribune. He may be contacted at RaulAscunce@gmail.com.

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