By the time most of you read this you will have already found yourself elbow deep inside a cavernous turkey carcass trying to stuff it with old bread. At least that is how it used to be before people found out you could make dressing in a casserole dish much easier.
Yes, those were the old days, I guess, but many of our memories revolve around Thanksgiving as families came together to celebrate their plenteous larder. Which then led to plenteous lard around our middles from all the calories consumed.
Thinking back on those early Turkey Days with all the grandparents and extended families present is a trip down memory lane for Ol’ Dutch. Even though they didn't have much as far as this world is concerned, there was always plenty of home-cooked food to go around and love aplenty for everyone present. And the food they did bring, too.
There was always turkey and oyster dressing, cranberries and salads, pickles and pie, and a plethora of things I cannot recall. And of course, the one amazing item brought by the wealthy family member purchased just that morning from the local grocery store that Ol’ Dutch thought was so special but was in fact the least of the food there.
We all sat around filling our gullets with goodies and then after the dishes were done a long afternoon of visiting was enjoyed between the gatherers. With my family that was a non-stop four hours of everyone talking at once and no one listening, so it seemed. But, boy, did they love one another. We got to hear about Aunt Alice’s recent surgery, Uncle Henry’s gout, stories about their growing up, and being church going people, many a story about God’s blessings to them during the past year.
Not having much in the way of earthly treasures among those family members made it a lot easier to not have family fights as sometimes occur at gatherings of such. Mostly these fights happen when the conversation turns to who got Grandma’s China and Grandpa’s pocket watch in the Will, which in our case was easily avoided as none of our family had such items to cherish and lust after. My grandma didn't have any China and grandpa used a sundial to tell time.
And matter of fact any items that were passed along to us were usually in the form of something like an old treadle sewing machine that if you were unlucky enough to become the progeny to inherit, you were forced to keep for the rest of your life. Not only did you have to keep it but it had to have some place of prominence in your home so that visiting relatives could see it and be assured you were keeping it safe. They made sure to mention that they sure wished they had room for it but alas, their house was already full.
And so there you were stuck with a toe stubbing ole piece of heavy iron covered with a doily adorned with a picture in a frame of people you didn't know.
I am fortunate enough to go with Miss Trixie to her family gatherings, now, and have to say they are much the same as mine as the people there love each other with a passion that cannot be imagined and to sit and listen to the stories being told brings many a memory to Ol’ Dutch about his early years.
Now her people have plenty of money to have purchased food for all there, but they take special pride in baking and cooking and batching and mixing a meal fit only for a King and sure to either cause diabetes or gout. It’s always a Texas gathering for them, and celebrate they do.
Space here does not allow me to share about the first Thanksgiving but rest assured, it was a time of extreme hardship by the Pilgrims who came to America seeking freedom from persecution. And finding that here, they took the time to be with friends and thank God for His blessings upon them.
So, this week if you are fortunate enough to have family to gather with, thank God for your blessings that day and remember others in your prayers that they too may find somewhere to have a meal and share some conversations with others. Happy Thanksgiving to all and may God Bless and keep you in the days ahead.
Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is [email protected]. Additional news can be found at www.troutrepublic.com.