Thanksgiving Memories...

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Thanksgiving is upon us. Another year has gone by and the holiday season is here. Catalogs and fliers stuff the mailbox and immediately fill the recycling bin. This year Christmas sales seem to have begun before Halloween. The recent cold and wind and stormy weather around here just reminds you real winter is coming.

Thanksgivings past always seem just under the surface of memory -- seen through the filter of childhood. Roasting turkey, potatoes, and pies -- aromas that still bring memories back.

For a time, we raised a few turkeys on the dairy farm where I grew up in the Adirondacks. There was always a flock of three or four hens hanging around the front yard, escorted by the protective tom. We came to really hate that bird.

Step out of the house without looking for him and you could be met with a painful wing-slap against the legs. The sting would last for the longest time and the occasional bruise would appear later on your shins. Running for the school bus in the morning could be an experience if he was in the yard.

One Thanksgiving-eve, I remember my older brother and father talking about the turkey we'd have for that Thanksgiving. Now, I've mentioned before how we didn't slaughter our own animals on the farm, but this was one of those exceptions. They had decided they'd give it a try and off they went to the barnyard looking for Old Tom. I didn't go along, and neither of them said much of the experience, but I think it wasn't one they enjoyed. I remember my mother plucking away at the pin feathers with a set of pliers, and me relishing the turkey that year...

Which reminds me of another of those holiday traditions around our house, one which, as a kid, I never really understood. As an adult I've come to appreciate it as a gift from my mother.

Many Thanksgivings and Christmases were passed with my mother and sister cooking the night before and the morning of the holiday. Aroma of turkey filled the house, and dinners were prepared on plates, covered tightly with aluminum foil and delivered by my dad to neighbors who were elderly or fallen on hard times. All before we sat down to eat, sometimes late in the day. Even in years when we were barely making it. I remember that family tradition more this year, with the bad economy we are all going through. My parents both lived through the Depression, and that experience never really left them.

So, this year may your bird be a crisp golden-brown, your potatoes smothered in gravy and your apple pie piled high. And may we all find something to be thankful for...

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This page contains a single entry by JeffAdminist published on January 21, 2009 1:04 AM.

Apples from the Library Window was the previous entry in this blog.

Winter Visitors is the next entry in this blog.

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