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COUNTRY RAMBLIN’S

By Tamara November 09

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My mama has always told me, “The older you get, the faster time goes,” and now that I am at that stage of life, (older than dirt) I fully understand what she means. It can’t be November, and the beginning of the holiday season already—My mind has me trapped somewhere back in August at the very latest. But I guess with Christmas along side Halloween decorations in every store I enter now, it must be that time of year again.

I protest each year to anyone who will listen, “What happened to Thanksgiving?” Somehow we Americans squeeze it in between the abundance of candy in great sacks for trick or treaters, and the abundance of Christmas gifts we all over-buy for our grandkids.

I can’t say the modern day holidays excite me like when I was a child, and my folks and all our relatives were as poor as church mice. Our gifts were meager at best. But the thing we all held deep inside was the spirit and true meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas in those celebrations I fondly recall.

There was always plenty of food because we lived on a farm, and grew everything hardy and wonderful to the taste buds. Lots of mincemeat and punkin’ pies to eat after turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy, candied yams, breaded tomatoes, steaming vegetables, cranberries, home-made rolls, and lots of cold milk to wash it all down. MMMMMMMM GOOD!

Now, I know when I mention mincemeat pies, you younger folks say, “YUK!” But, in my day, they were great—not what you buy in the can nowadays that’s made mostly of raisins and chunks of apple. Grandma’s pies were made from the neck meat of the seasonal venison Dad and uncle Bob bagged each year. It was pure meat ground up with raisins and apple in a smooth, tasty filling. Few turned their nose up at it back then.

And to this day, I start to salivate like a hound dog when I think of those punkin’ pies. I mean they were heavenly!

Not only the food was great but the company of friends and family was always something to look forward to. And everyone dressed in their Sunday best. That was one time of year when Mom’s looked like Mrs. Cleaver as they scurried about the kitchen in a dress and heels, and proper frilly apron tied at the waist.

The din of everyone talking and catching up after long separations was invigorating to the soul. And, of course, we kids didn’t stop the merriment until the door closed behind the last folks to leave late into the night.

We’d hit the pillow bone-weary but ready to head for town the next day to see the Christmas lights strung across Main Street when all the stores decorated and brought out their Christmas supplies to be purchased in the next twenty-five days following the first Friday after Thanksgiving.

No, Thanksgiving wasn’t forgotten or merely squeezed in between Halloween and Christ’s birthday as it is today. It was a special day to be remembered, and to give thanks to God.

So, during these holiday celebrations of 2009, don’t forget to make wonderful memories with your people, and remember the “Reason for the Season!”

Granny Tam

Thanksgiving Day

 

 

Mama in her apron,
Daddy in his chair,
us kids playing ‘round them
on wood floors that were bare.

Turkey in the oven,
smell of pies so sweet,
family soon would join us
to gobble up the treats.

Grandma brought more goodies,
the aunts and uncles too
came swooping in with food galore—
mostly things they grew.

Cousins of all sizes
gathered on that day,
playing games and laughing
as time quickly slipped away.

We ate, we shared, we did our best
remembering the past—
to thank God and the Pilgrims
for settling land so vast.

Snows outside the window
reminded us to rest
after reaping plentiful harvests,
we knew we had been blessed.

Tamara Hillman ©2009

 

 



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