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COUNTRY RAMBLIN’S by Tamara Hillman
November 2006
harvest basket


There is no question at our house-November has arrived. A cold chill has settled over the area, and frost covers the ground and rooftops. Snow glistens on distant mountaintops, and soon it will act as a warm blanket protecting plants in my yard.
This time of year, I can't help but want to put on a pot of stew, bake an apple pie, throw an afghan over me, and cozy down in my favorite chair by the fire to read a good book. But woe is me, I'm on a diet (as usual) so no pie. My dear neighbor just lost his wife to cancer last month and I'm sure some stew, and a big chunk of hot apple pie would be a blessing to him. That takes care of my share-
The seasons seem to come quickly these days, could it be because I'm sixty, (and at the end of this month have another lousy birthday?) Well, I won't dwell on that subject because inside I feel no more than thirty. It's those poor folks who have to see me from the outside who realize I'm older than I think...
November will bring the first big holiday of the season celebrated with family and friends. I love this time of year-another excuse to eat? Thanksgiving is a marvelous time to reflect back on our ancestors, the pilgrims, and how much they sacrificed to settle in the new world. Can you imagine preparing that first meal celebrating the end of harvest-wild turkey, corn on the cob, potatoes and gravy, sweet biscuits with lots of melting butter, squash, and turnip greens? And don't forget those punkin' pies-my mouth is watering. Can you see Indians and white people joined together as friends at this great feast? And with hands clasped tightly over heaping plates to give our Lord His due? Ah, yes, I can just picture it!
My grown children have taken over the BIG DAY, and do all the hard work while I contribute a dish or two they favor. Taking time to relax, talk, and reminisce is my greatest duty now-not a difficult task for me. My Stephen enjoys the camaraderie with the fellas too. Though he's more on the quiet side, he loves playing card games, and swapping tales about golf, jobs, and the latest car models.
It makes me sad in modern times that Thanksgiving has all but been forgotten in the mad dash to commercialize Christmas. I don't know about you readers, but out where I live, Christmas decorations and gifts are up in stores by September, far, far too soon for my liking. It used to be, in the good ol' days, (as us kids past fifty have a tendency to say just like our parents and grandparents before us), Christmas ads and decorations were begun on the Friday after Thanksgiving. No stores decorations or TV ads were in sight until that day, starting the Christmas season off right and to last only four, fun-filled weeks. Now, I'm so tired of being bombarded with Christmas ads and music by the time Christmas Day arrives, I just want it all to end and let me return to some kind of normalcy. And another thing, (while I'm still on my soapbox), where is Jesus in all this hoopla? Some in government don't even want to acknowledge that it's a Christian holiday-But they sure want the two weeks off from work for their 'Winter Holiday' as they now have christened it. Bah-humbug! Christ is the reason for the season...period!
But I digress. Here is a poem you might enjoy to get you in the mood for winter's chill:

turkey hiding

House stands in mock defiance
of blustery winds that blow,
ice crystals pelting windowpanes,
precede the winter's snow
Barren limbs-stretch to sky,
frost hardened furrowed fields
await the winter season,
anxious for spring yields
Landscapes agonize for change,
snow flurries soon appear,
covering white dear Mother Earth
at closure of each year...

Rosy cheeked with numbing lips, we bundle 'gainst the cold, frozen ponds bid winter games that never shall grow old Nestled 'neath our Granny's quilts while fireplace crackles warm, tranquil peace now settles thru' winter wind and storm.

Don't be afraid to listen to the Angel on your shoulder.

Granny Tam


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