Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Time for Thanksgiving!

     I've been waiting for Dwight to come up with a Thanksgiving Memoir, but it hasn't happened yet, so I'll write about one Thanksgiving that I remember vividly.  The day was beautiful and unseasonably warm.  We all worked on the dinner, which included some foods that were seldom on our table - celery, red grapes, cranberries (cooked by Mother), and yams, plus the usual big hen baked to perfection in the coal range.  (We had a turkey my senior year in high school, and all decided that it was not as delicious and moist as the chicken.)  We cleaned up, dishes were finished, and with the day so beautiful and fine - blue skies, golden stubble in the fields, etc., so we older children decided to walk down to the river bridge.  All I remember about that walk was that as we were headed home, dark clouds began to appear in the west, and we hurried down the lane to home to avoid a possible storm.  One thing that Louise did was to save the embossed paper napkin she had for lunch (unsoiled), and color the patterns on it, so as in everything else, I copied her.  Paper napkins were only used on special occasions.
     Another Thanksgiving I remember was even earlier - around 1942.  Aunt Cindy and Uncle Norman were living in the remains of the little house that Uncle Orville had built.  There was a main room and a small back room.  As I recall, they just had Newell, and we all crammed around the table in the front room.  After lunch, Daddy and Norman went out and began to stake out the dimensions for our new home.  Unbelievably, we moved into that house on George Washington's birthday in 1943!  I spent another ten years in that home before graduating from high school and heading for Laramie.


Ann said...

If I was born in 1942 (which I think is correct, maybe!), I thought we moved into the Penrose house just before Steve was born in 1944. However, since I have no memory of either event, I must rely on the memory of my older siblings.

Thanksgiving memories are fun ones for me. I can remember, when I was very little, sitting on the long bench and getting to crawl out under the table to escape my sitting place against the north wall. I also remember the feeling of the wonderfully warm kitchen, the smells of Mother's magic taking place, the sage dressing, looking in wonder at the large red delicious apple Mother had bought for fruit salad, along with an orange and a grapefruit, and grapes. We never bought grapes, except on very special occasions.

In later years, when there was a little more money, and there were fewer of us at home, we always had a turkey. I can still remember Dad, with a twinkle in his eye, snitching a piece of meat before everything was on the table. Remember the flour gravy? And this was a time for sweet potatoes - my very favorite part of Thanksgiving (well, ok, one of my favorite parts). Squash pie was something Mother had mastered and it was only after I left home that I realized there was such a thing as pumpkin pie.
My favorite memory of Thanksgiving is having family gather. Once everyone started leaving Penrose for their adventures, I don't remember ever having everyone home for Thanksgiving at the same time. However, it was always a special time when someone would drive down the lane to our little white house to spend the holiday.
Just a quick thought about how much we have to be thankful for this year. We are all doing better today than we were a month ago, our families seem to be surviving in a world full of turmoil and today we gathered 4 eggs before noon. I am thankful for all of you, today and always. Love, Ann

Elizabeth said...

You are right, Ann - it was George Washington's birthday in 1944 when we moved into the house - unpainted as yet, with a blue roof. Louise and Dwight will have to supply the date of the Thanksgiving with Norman and Cindy - 1943?

Judy said...

Thank you Ann and Elizabeth for taking time to record some very good memories. Holidays bring such tender feelings about the present and the past.