Thanksgiving Past: Up until about 10 years ago, our large extended family of cousins, aunts, uncles, parents and grandparents celebrated Thanksgiving at the family homestead. Living on a farm, we sat down to a meal that spelled the end of another growing season. Thinking back on all the work and effort that went into the planting, tending, and harvesting, we then got to relax and enjoy the fruits of our labors.
There were mashed potatoes, from the seed spuds we had planted in March, tended through spring and early summer, then dug up with the harvester and gathered by the bushel. Same for the sweet potatoes, now sitting on the serving plate as candied yams. No Thanksgiving Day feast would be complete without succotash, that great combination of lima beans and corn, both picked from our own fields and frozen for use on this occasion and throughout the winter months. The turkey and stuffing may have been the only food on our table that we didn’t grow ourselves. The apples in the pies were fresh from the orchard, and others had been pressed into the cider with which we toasted to another season.
At the time, I took these holiday meals for granted, but I now realize that each one was a special gift. Whenever you can sit down to share a meal, conversation, and traditions with the people who matter most to you, that’s a gift.
As the third generation of family expanded to a fourth, the crowd became so large that it spilled over onto an enclosed porch. We then splintered off into smaller groups at our various houses but we will always have those traditions to build upon and bond us together in spirit.
Thanksgiving 2020: We will enjoy the same locally grown favorites but we will stick to our bubble of household family members, maybe even eat outside if the weather permits. We will call or Facetime family and friends that cannot be part of our bubble this year. Best of all, we will sit down to a bounty of blessings. Family, food, good health. With everything we’ve been through these last several months, it’s a good time to count blessings.
Thanksgiving 2021: We will enjoy a Thanksgiving like those of the past.
Dear readers, stay the course. Do not let pandemic fatigue keep you from a recovery that is surely coming. We have sacrificed special birthdays and anniversaries and holidays. Next year, we will appreciate and enjoy the holiday season like never before.
God Bless Us, Everyone.