Thanksgiving is just days away. We'll all be gathering at Chris and Nadine's in Mountain View. Cindy and Cliff are already in the Bay Area. Jeff and Curtis will be driving up on Wednesday and Craig will be flying in from Michigan. Calvin and Angie will also be there in spirit!
Thanksgiving has always held a special place for our family. It was the one day of the year that Chung's Restaurant would be closed to customers. My Mom and Dad would wake us up early to help prepare for the day's big family gathering, as many as a hundred and fifty mouths to feed!! (When we were younger, my Dad even found time to sneak away to the big parade!) Once at the restaurant, we would all pitch in. Whether it was to butter the sweet yams, cut the Chinese chicken or carve the ham, we all did our part. Dad was so happy to be surrounded by the ones he loved.
We'd set up the dining room in a giant "U" shape and everyone would have a seat. Family members would come near and fear for a fabulous lunch. A little TV would be set up in the corner so Dad could watch his Lions play their traditional Turkey Day Game. Everyone would stuff themselves full.
Afterward, once most everyone had left, the fun would really start. Our parents would play mah jong in the back while Craig, Chris, Curtis, Calvin, Cindy, Cliff, Waimon, Waikit, Wayne and occassional cousins and/or friends would take over the entire dining room. We'd make a maze of all the chairs in the dining room, play tag and board games, watch TV and eat left overs. Around 8 PM, we would serve all the parents who had stayed to play mah jong. Sometimes, we would even experiment in the kitchen with our own cooking. (Not a good idea, though the parents were good sports and ate what we made.) So many great memories.
In this time of Thanksgiving, we look forward to spending it with family. We'll create many new memories, but it just won't be the same without Dad. However, he will be with us in spirit. Make sure to spend this holiday with the ones you love.