Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving memories...

Over the river, and through the wood,
To Grandmother’s house we go;
the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.
Over the river, and through the wood,
to Grandmother's house away!
We would not stop for doll or top,
for 'tis Thanksgiving Day.

This poem was written by Lydia Maria Wilder and published in 1844, about the joy of her visits to her Grandfather's house for Thanksgiving. The words and (many more verses) were placed to music, along with changing the word "Grandfather" to become "Grandmother".  I guess someone along the way figured "Grandmother" was doing all the cooking, so she needed a song to her credit. :-)

I think of this song usually around this time of the year, because believe it or not , it reminds me of the times when my husband, son and I would drive south for the Thanksgiving holidays!  We did travel over a few rivers and saw a few woods along the highway, but I loved our times spent on the road going south. Cups of coffee in hand, we were on our way in the wee hours of the cold November morning to "Grandma's house. We had the best conversations in that car, you name it!  My husband said it was the caffeine, but to me it was just a good time to get away from work and pressures. We didn't make it down home nearly as much as I wanted to, but those times that we did make the trip, will forever remain in my heart as such precious memories.

I remember making the call to let my parents know that we were coming. My Mom would take the call (my Dad didn't talk much on the phone) but she would repeat everything to him as I was telling her about our upcoming visit. It was a wonderful feeling to anticipate going back home to see them, and I knew they were happy that we were coming; now that I'm older I understand that more. I knew that my son, as a toddler was going to get spoiled beyond measure...he knew it too and couldn't wait to see his grandparents. For him, my son, it meant playing baseball with my dad in the backyard and my Mom letting him lick the cake batter off the mixing bowl, spoons and beaters!

Oh the food! Turkey, cornbread dressing, candied yams, Collard greens, Macaroni and cheese, cranberry sauce, Glazed Ham, Butter beans, Potato salad, Hot Rolls, etc. and plenty of desserts!  My Mom was an excellent cook, we always said that she would have been a very successful chef/restaurant owner, because her food was so good!  She would always say "It's in the seasoning" and so it was!  One of her cabinets was overflowing with containers of different seasonings.

The weather is mild in the south where I come from and usually on Thanksgiving it is warm day in the 60's. So after dinner it was time to go visiting family and friends that lived close by. I miss those times...a full stomach of my Momma's food and then visiting loved ones in their similar cozy homes to catch up on our lives...priceless.

I miss my Mom's cozy kitchen, of sitting at the table while she whipped up a Sour Cream Pound Cake. I never understood and still marvel  how she could make such a delicious , moist cake all while talking and laughing with me. She could mix the ingredients, pour it in the pan, slide it in the oven and sit down to continue the conversation like it was nothing! LOL

I miss my talks with my Dad, while Ma finished her cooking, I would go into the den where he would be in his favorite chair dozing with the TV on. My father was a quiet man, a voice of reason. I still can remember some of the conversations we had, things he said in his own quiet way, but have positively influenced me and imparted wisdom to my life. He loved my Mom's cooking too, said she was the best!

Growing up in a home where we all sat around the table for dinner has had a great affect on my life and created a solid foundation.  Back then there were no cell phones, the TV was in the living room not the kitchen, my father sat at the head of the table and we shared about what went on in our days. My siblings and I had our disagreements and sometimes they got physical, but not at the table! Being at the dinner table was a time of coming together and, of being thankful for and sharing in God's bounty. My parents showed us how to be grateful for having food on our table and that we should never take it for granted and we were reminded of this when we said grace at each meal.  My parents worked hard to give us a better life than they had experienced and for that I am forever grateful. They left us a legacy of being thankful.

I will never experience my Momma's warm, cozy kitchen again, with all its luscious smells, or my talks with my Da in the den as Thanksgiving dinner was being prepared...but I have such lovely memories that will always be with me.

My Mom telling my husband that she was fixing his favorite Squash Casserole, my Da opening the back yard gate so that we can pull the car around, our first hugs before we go into the house,  and oh such warmth and love was in there as we entered!  All wonderful memories of our Thanksgivings together!  My parents and my husband have gone on to be with the Lord now, but these precious memories will live on forever in my heart and to my grandchildren as I share with them.

This Thanksgiving as we come together, may it be a time of peace, love and encouraging one another.  Enjoy and see it for the blessing that it is, this time that we have with each other on earth. Our differences and disagreements seem so petty in the realization that we have so much to be thankful for.

I am so thankful for my sweet memories, so very thankful that though we did not spend much time together, the times that we did are unforgettable!

Enjoy the food, fun and fellowship and most of all BE THANKFUL!

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.  Psalms 100


Jaybird said...

No live person could read this without a tear in their eye and a comment to tell you how beautifully you write!!!! I cried and I laughed...especially about the phone folks did that too :^)...and I called my Mom "Ma" too.....I found out MUCH later in life that she didn't like it, but she was always glad to hear ME say it :^)
My kiddos are grown and have a bunch of younglets of their own, but when they were at home and still to this day, we sit at the table for supper. No phones, no argument, just good food and sweet memories.
Again my thanks for such a lovely post!!!
I will be checking on you regularly! I wandered in today from "My Kentucky Living" blog, and I'm thankful that I did!!!
Blessings to you and a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Veronica said...

Thank you "Jaybird" for stopping by to check out the post AND for taking the time to comment. Your kind words are SO encouraging! May you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving as you continue to make sweet memories together! May the Lord Bless and keep you and yours :-)

Shelia said...

This is so wonderful, Veronica! I want to wish you a blessed Christmas and if I lived close to you, I would let you bake me some cookies! :)
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Leslie B. Williamson said...

Very proud of you sister!