A Day of Thanksgiving

sweetannie4u(midOK_z6b/7a)November 24, 2011

For those of us in the United States, tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, a day set aside to give thanks for all our many blessings this past year.

Every Autumn, my grandparents and all the neighboring farmers harvested their crops and then burned the fields after the hay was mown. What fun to play in the haystacks. Grampa would build a big bonfire and we all got to roast those huge ears of sweet, green corn. Grannie would wrap potatoes (Irish or Sweet) in foil and bury them in the coals. Grampa would sit on his camp stool or an upside down crate with his hunting dogs sprawled around all of us kids and play us some good old time songs on his fiddle. Grampa would pop some of the popcorn he grew in a long-handled basket popper.

Sometimes it was so foggy that you couldn't see beyond the fire, and grampa would tell ghost stories that would make your hair stand on end. He was a great story teller.

They cured olives and then Grannie canned them. Grampa was a Master Beekeeper and twice a year he & Grannie robbed the hives - most of it was sold, but they kept some of the best. Each of us grandkids got a big chunk of honeycomb to chew on. What a treat! Grampa said it was better for us than chewing gum, and it certainly was for me.

Thanksgiving Day, we had Turkey and Venison with all the trimmings. There was homemade bread with real hand-churned butter and either honey or some of Grannie's Marmalade she made from their oranges or tangerines. She made the best Fruitcake. It wasn't a dark cake - it was light and it contained the candied oranges, walnuts and other candied citrus fruit from their own orchard.

Some years we spent Thanksgiving camped at the Beach. It was cold and damp, but there was always the big fire to back up to and a cozy old smelly canvas tent to sleep in at night. Breakfast on the beach was the best of all. Pancakes, bacon, eggs, the best hot coffee and fired potatoes. If we caught fish, we ate them. Grampa taught us all about nature and all living things around us - that they were sacred and that we should be thankful for the world we lived in and shared with all creatures.

Grannie was the gardener. She has always inspired me - the best thing Mama ever told me was how much I reminded her Grannie - my love of flowers and gardening and my enthusiasm for finding and collecting special rocks. She was delighted when I kept honey bee hives and caught several wild swarms all by myself.I guess I am a lot like both of them.

I know I am rambling on, but I wanted to share some of my special memories about Thanksgiving with you. I have so many wonderful memories - so much to be thankful for. So many special experiences. Such a great family.

We never had a lot of money, but we had a great family and an unusually awesome family life...at least I think so. We went to so many places and saw so many things. And all those kinds of experiences I passed on to my children.

Though few these days seem to remember the old tradition as it was originally, certainly as I was taught that we should honor it anyway, it is still deep in my heart. I sing those old songs and think back on those special times with tears welling up in my eyes.

May we all realize our blessings for what they are and what we have in this country, and pass the old traditions on to the younger generations and families with much Love and THANKSGIVING.


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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Amen!!!!Wow, Annie! I have tears in my eyes just following your memories! Although I don't have as many memories of life on the farm , I still remember fall in this old house and Dad was the gardener. We stayed out till it was dark and Dad would make a bonfire in the middle of the garden. All the neighbouhood kids would come over and we would roast weinies and marshmellows! Just the smell of the fall and the garden are enough to get me all sentimental! After we filled our faces with our roastings, we would come in the house and into a tub of soapy water and into fresh, line dried flannel jammies. Lots of times we had the top of one pair and the bottoms of another but it didn't matter. We climbed up on Dad's lap and he read to my brother and I and Mom would tuck us into bed. I lost my mom really young but I still remember those special times around Thanksgiving here in Canada in "this old house". When Mom made homemade pumpkin pie, crab apple jelly, choke cherry jam, biscuits and garden fresh vegies. Everything always tasted sooo good!

My daughter says she has some of the same memories and some special ones of her own thanks to her mom. I hope she passes them on to her kids too.

Thank you for sharing your memories! May you enjoy a blessed Thanksgiving and ramble on all you want. It is good for the soul! :)



    Bookmark   November 24, 2011 at 2:10AM
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Thank you for sharing your memories. It was a wonderful way to begin my Thanksgiving Day.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2011 at 10:04AM
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Oh, yes, love this, Annie!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2011 at 10:07AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Annie, such lovely memories, thank you for sharing them. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, have a wonderful day with family and friends.


    Bookmark   November 24, 2011 at 11:43AM
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thinman(Z5 MI)

Well, that was a wonderful thing to read on this Thanksgiving day, Annie. You're a great story-teller yourself. Thank you for warming up this chilly gray day for me with your homespun (and I mean that as a fond compliment) tales.

I hope you and everyone else here has contented and peaceful day, Thanksgiving or not.


    Bookmark   November 24, 2011 at 12:28PM
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pat_tea(PNW, Van,WA)

What a beautiful peek into your memories. Thank you so much. Happy Thanksgiving to all my new cottage friends. Patti

    Bookmark   November 24, 2011 at 4:05PM
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freezengirl(3aMN and 5AK)

Annie your post of Thanksgiving memories was so lovely to come across on a chilly winter morning. Your family obviously gave you the best gift of all-a joyful and loving heart.


    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 12:36PM
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My daughter and her two babies have been visiting since the end of September - a long overdue visit, too, I might add. Today her DH flew in from SC to join her, so tomorrow I am giving them a special Thanksgiving Day dinner together here at the house. I've been baking and cleaning all day. :)
What a great way to heat the house!
It will be lovely.
Can't wait to bite into a slice of the Lemon Meringue pie and Deep-dish Apple pie. It sure smells good in here.

Hope you all had a blessed holiday.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 11:31PM
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lois(PA Zone 6)

Annie, I agree, your family gave you the gift of wonderful memories.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 2:56PM
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