I've heard that salmon, certain birds and monarch butterflies return to the place of their birth. Well, somewhere in the beginning of my family's life story, someone must have been born in a kitchen. For every special occasion -- holidays, birthdays, reunions and the inevitable passing -- calls us to a kitchen, with family and friends crowded around a table of preparations, continuing an endless conversation percolated by a stove covered with simmering pots.
Our family legacy is one of prairies, cattle and corn . . . Frontier women splitting stovewood in skirts . . . It's the aroma of baking . . . Spicing life with a pinch of salt . . . And sweetening the pot, either for dessert or for a game of cards.
Tomorrow will be no exception. The kitchen will be full with the smell of roasted turkey and stuffing; the happy sounds of laughter and children's squeals will bounce off the walls. When the table is cleared, the men I love will warm themselves by the glow of a Thanksgiving football game . . . and cards will replace the empty plates on the table.
Almost exactly as it's been done around here for generations.