Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving OR Celebrating the Extermination of my Ancestors

My paternal great-grandmother was Apache and my great-grandfather Mexican (whatever that means). He was disappeared and her land was taken because she was a woman, despite the fact that she had 13 kids (the 14th died young). She was a midwife and I hear she lived from 1864 to 1968, though that could be myth (but it's a good myth if so!). So I don't much like Thanksgiving in the historical sense unless you're talking about celebrating the harvest with family and friends and giving thanks for the bounty of this great earth. That, I can get down with. So I do.

We stayed at my mother's through the weekend in order to be in town for my dad's 60th birthday. My younger sisters* were also in from their respective schools. When I was little, my mother got this 1950s wool school uniform from a friend. When she tried it on me, I threw a huge fit and she took a photo of me in it sitting on the edge of the bed, all sullen and tear-streaked. As I got older, I got over hating it. It spent years on a bear until Aleks got to be about one or so and it was passed to me. At age 3, I got a picture of him in it (which is on the external hard drive I don't want to hook up at the moment). Also one where he was crying, though not because I forced him to wear it.

Noticing it in the closet while I was packing, I figured now was good a time as any to make Bastian wear it. He didn't object at all, though he was quite curious about having no pants on. Here he is with his Aunt Natty. Natalie later managed to dress up. On Wednesday, she and her roommate from school decided it was a good idea to drive to Chicago for a show on one of the busiest traveling days of the year (even in a recession). They didn't leave until about 6 o'clock in the evening, but they made the show, which was a French DJ who spun until 4 a.m. They then picked up our other sister, Lilly, and drove back home, arriving at "The Farm" at about 10 a.m. For this reason, Natalie looks like a cracked-out Factory Girl in her little pseudo-60s dress and smeared-from-sleep-deprivation eyeliner. It's really the four-inch heels that make her cracked-out though.
Bastian ran around like such the little man, nibbling on all the bits, licking the pickles, discovering they were sweet and sticking them back in the dish. Here he stares at me with his Great-Step-Aunt Chris.
Natalie, in retaliation for being called a crack whore, took a photo of me. Not a very good one, either. She doesn't know how to work cameras. And my belly is showing. At least it's sort of flat.
Jon with 2 (out of 5) kinds of potatoes! The candied sweet potatoes were ours from the Holiday share of our CSA.
I discovered this little Lego monkey resting atop the candied sweet potato recipe.
Cloverleaf rolls a'risin'.
Aleks is served first. This is his first turkey after years of vegetarianism. He likes chicken legs better, as it turns out. They're a bit easier to handle.
Lilly with her pink and bleached-blond hair that got her severely scolded by her Great Aunt Lucy, who is convinced that these things must look pretty weird to people out walking around in the world. Lilly assured her that no one looks at her twice.
Aleks and Bastian chased chickens for awhile, but Jon didn't get any great shots, which I requested. This one's pretty cute though.

*I thought I'd explain my family really quick-like. When I say "my sisters," I'm almost always referring to my younger half-sisters, Natalie and Lillian, Aleks and Bastian's aunts who are both in college (Natalie is a linguist in her senior year, Lilly is a Junior in film school). They are the daughters of my mother and step-father who have been together since I was about 1 or so. They're 7 and 9 years younger than me. I do have another sister, however, and a brother, who are the children of my step-mother and who are 6 and 9 years older than me. I'll occasionally refer to them as well. Except for my brother and my sisters who are away at college, they all live in the town where I'm from. Including all four of my parents: Mom, Dad, Step-dad, Step-mom. Just to clarify.


Anonymous said...

Oh, how nice, although we do not have Thanksgiving here in Europe, I kinda been thinking about my ancestors too!!!! What a tragedy about yours, do you have any more stories to tell, do you know any more about them????
Lune x

anna kiss said...

Well, her first son who died was named Manuel. She went on to reuse his name after he died, some eight kids later. My grandfather is the second Manuel. He died when I was pregnant with my eldest son and so Aleks' middle name is Manuel.

We liked using Latino middle names after that to maintain a connection to my ancestors, so Bastian's middle name is Diego and if he'd been a girl he would have been named Eleanor Esme.

I don't really know much more about them. I have bits and pieces, but no real narrative. I know my great-grandparents had two weddings, the second being a Catholic wedding and it was in the church at Presidio La Bahia, the fort in the town my grandparents lived in where 350 Texans were killed as part of the Texas Revolution in 1836. It's considered a massacre on par with The Alamo. I don't see the battles as a patriot or anything. I figure the Texans gave up one ruling country for another, in the end.