Thanksgiving is the one day of the year dedicated to gratitude. It is the day we all come together gathered from near and far. Some are seated around tables. While others line up cafeteria style to enjoy the meal of the day. For those who cannot be with us in person, there is always FACETIME or SKYPE to connect in visually and audibly.

Our gratitude is then extended throughout the day. Maybe you are talking to Aunt Sue who you have not seen all year long. And in a quiet corner, you and she have the conversation of a lifetime. She listens intently to all of your accomplishments and dreams for the future. In exchange, she fills in all the gaps on your parents when they were younger. Giving you a picture of your family heritage. You walkaway as the day ends feeling fuller than you ever have before.

When I was a kid at Thanksgiving we never really knew how things were going to end up. My mother was not exactly a wiz in the kitchen. But her attempts are still memorable to this day. As I was making my homemade cinnamon rolls I had a flash of memory. When my mother used to make the rolls, they would vary in size. Some were very large and some were very tiny.

It was an adventure eating those rolls, because some had cinnamon in them and some did not. She did her best to make them special every year, but it was not her passion by a long shot. Her passion was talking on the phone with Margaret while she was rolling out the dough. they would laugh and giggle like school girls all the while those rolls were being shaped and baked. When they were done, the challenge for us kids was to find which ones were cooked just right. You see she baked all of them at the same temperature for the same amount of time. That meant some were under cooked, overcooked and then there were some that were done just right.

These days I have taken over the cinnamon roll duty. And every year, I reminisce about the old days. I have been able to get the rolls to be about the same size. This avoids over and under cooking of them. But I am grateful that I learned how to prepare them now that my mother is gone. This year I approach Thanksgiving with a full spirit. I am ready to have that conversation in the corner with my niece or nephew. This time I will be the Aunt filling in all the pieces of a parents childhood! Cinnamon rolls and all!!