Butter Mints

The only time of the year mom bought butter mints was for Thanksgiving. She poured them into a crystal bowl that appeared far more fancy than needed, but no one can blame her since it was be the only day of the year the bowl would be used.

When mom placed the bowl full of mints on the table we knew the turkey was almost ready. No matter how early my father arose to start preparing the turkey, we always sat around the table and chatted about football and food, while waiting on that bird. 

I spent many Thanksgivings with my grandparents. When I was younger, my parents hosted Thanksgiving, and my father’s parents were always invited. As my mother’s health deteriorated, her father would invite the family to Salt Lake for brunch at the Marriot Hotel.

But the hotel didn’t have butter mints, nor were we able to sit around the table and chat for hours. The early years were more about the conversations while the later years were mostly about the food.

This year we drove north to spend the afternoon with Kim’s brother and his family in Lake Stevens. As we left home, I handed Luca my phone and asked her to read aloud the tribute my uncle wrote about his father.

I hoped the others would find the stories of my grandfather interesting enough that they’d listen, but was surprised when it actually happened. I filled many summer days working alongside him on his farm he tended to after he retired from Hill Air Force Base, yet most of what my uncle wrote was new to me.

It’s natural to think about my extended family this time of year, and I still can’t get used to the fact that my grandparents have all passed away.

We’ve begun our own Thanksgiving traditions, like staying up late the night before making pumpkin cream pies. We made five of them this year and all that remains is a bowl of left over whipped cream.

I hope your Thanksgiving was full of conversation, good food, friends and butter mints.

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