Friday, Nov. 25, 10:34 p.m. , Ponchatoula , Louisiana — Yesterday was Thanksgiving, but it wasn’t like any Thanksgiving I’ve ever had before. I don’t think it was bad, though. It really wasn’t bad. It was just … different. It’s something of the new life, not the old one where everyone piled around our table and ate turkey and casserole and good bread from the bakery.
I woke up yesterday morning, but instead of smelling the warm cooking from the kitchen, I just smelled the camper. Plastic smell. I woke up and got dressed, and then I sat myself down and wrote for a long time. Writing is therapy.
Mom went to her parents in the house trailer they are living in now. She went there to cook because cooking is virtually impossible in the camper. Dad and I stayed here until she called a little after noon , telling us that our Thanksgiving spaghetti was ready.
Dad and I piled into his truck and drove until we found the trailer park tucked away in some little pocket of Hammond . The speed limit was 10 mph down the gravel road to their trailer, and there were some people standing beside the road, talking to each other as we drove past.
We saw my mom’s car and stopped next to my grandparents’ trailer. I never thought I would be excited to go to a house trailer for Thanksgiving. Inside, my mom was fixing her salad. My grandmother’s wrist was in a cast because she fell again. My grandfather was still battling his new cell phone, trying to figure out how to make it work. They had a new television in the trailer, but the reception was blurry and lines of static rolled in the background.
We ate spaghetti at the little table that had come in their trailer, spaghetti and garlic bread Mom had found in the grocery store. I missed eating a real meal like that, something that had been cooked in a stove, rather than a microwave.
I know that Mom was affected more by the disappointing Thanksgiving much more than I was. She’s thinking of Christmas now, of how Christmas is going to be different than the Christmases we’ve had before. We don’t have a tree. It’s the first year in my life that Dad and I haven’t hauled Christmas supplies down from the attic on the garage and scared Mom when we found snakeskin. It’s the first year I haven’t put our antique angel on the top of the tree.
Nirvana is a good therapist, too.
Turkey is overrated anyway.
Samantha Perez is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.