Donna C. Terrell

I Was Just Thinkin'

Dinner with the Durrs

on November 27, 2013

I recently read an interesting article about memorable Thanksgiving dinners. I got to thinking about the decades’ worth of Thanksgiving dinners I’ve eaten. Nothing really stands out because it was always the same fare—turkey and a thousand side dishes, as well as assorted cakes and pies.

Now best friend and sister Donna and I had a system when it came to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. My family always ate early. Her family always ate late. So round one would be at my house and round two would be at hers. In early years of our friendship, Donna and I never wanted to be bothered with her younger brother and sisters. We’d go off in the living room and talk until time to eat. Later as time went on and everybody got older, it was fun hanging out with them and munching on chips and dip until the food was ready.

By seven o’clock (yep, seven) dinner was served. We’d all cram into the kitchen, hold hands and pray, then pile our plates high. It was the usual—turkey, potato salad, dressing, sweet potatoes, green beans, and rolls. Donna’s mother is the best cook. I patterned my own dressing and potato salad after hers. It took years, but I finally got there! A couple of years ago, as Donna ate from my table, she raved about my dressing. The Durr stamp of approval! We both want our cooking to taste like Mom’s!

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What I always liked about eating at Donna’s house was that I felt welcome and comfortable. Her parents never made me feel like I was an outsider, or that there was an unspoken boundary I wasn’t supposed to cross. I was expected over there, and it was always grab a plate! Once I remember taking a detour before I went over Donna’s. Pops, as I affectionately called her father, was quite taken aback. “You’re supposed to eat here,” he chided.

The first 3 or 4 years I was married, my husband and I would eat at Dad’s, then go to his mother’s house. I was wistful at first about not spending time with the Durrs on Thanksgiving.  At the Durr house, there is laughter, silliness, and a bond that goes back years and years. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind being with the in-laws—but it’s just very different. My husband likes the Durrs and they all like him. Lately I’ve just been meeting my husband at his mother’s house after I’ve spent sufficient heart time with the Durrs—my other family. The only thing that drives me nuts is there’s no football on the Durr television. When I can, I steal the remote.

Hmm, I can’t really think of any one memorable Thanksgiving at the Durrs. Same folks, same food. But it’s not about the food; it’s the people you eat the food with. Happy Thanksgiving! I hope it’s a fulfilling day.

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One response to “Dinner with the Durrs

  1. Dee Jones says:

    What a wonderful article. I forgive for all the times you and Donna kicked me out of my own living room!

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