A season to give thanks

Published 4:40 am Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The tantalizing smells of turkey and dressing wafted through the open kitchen window to our outdoor wonderland. The brood of children could almost taste the deliciousness of the marvelous feast to come. Our beloved “Mamaw” diced and stirred tasting as she went to make sure everything was the moist and mouth-watering perfection that we expected.

When I reached my arms around Mamaw’s generous girth to give her a big hug, the thought never crossed my mind that she was anything but perfect. In today’s society she would have been considered obese, but to me she was only round and jolly. If my memory serves me correctly Mamaw never tried to diet. She lived to a ripe old age, so I assume the hard work of farm life and the fresh produce she and Papaw grew must have benefitted her health.

When I was a little girl, most people who farmed planted extra for the pests to eat. This was organic gardening at its finest. Chemicals were introduced, and my grandpa wanted to use them on the crops. Mamaw insisted that she didn’t believe they were healthy. The chemists and governmental agencies of the day put their stamp of approval on pesticide use, but my grandmother stood her ground on this issue.

The popular farm-to-table restaurants that exist now have nothing on the delights my Mamaw created from mostly farm fresh natural ingredients. A sheet served as a tablecloth on the makeshift serving table covered with a wide variety of pies, cakes, and other deliciousness. On other days the deep freeze would sit uncovered, but today it boasted wonderful deserts.

My siblings, cousins, and I thought we could hardly wait until the dinner bell rang even though it hadn’t been long since the table had fairly groaned with a large breakfast. Our tummies began to rumble as we scampered about the expansive farmyard. The colorful chickens scattered if we ran too close. Occasionally, a cocky rooster would give chase letting us know that he was the self appointed barnyard boss!

“Rosie, do you and Carol want to play hopscotch?” I squealed breathlessly.

“Sure, Jan! Last one there’s a rotten egg,” Carol exclaimed!

Off we ran to gather rocks and prepare for one of our favorite games. I found a firm stick and began to etch a hopscotch pad in the red sandy soil near the highway. I wonder if the eighteen wheeler drivers that passed by in front of the house honking to the three little girls wild arm movements smiled wistfully thinking of their own families getting ready to sit down to a scrumptious meal without them.

We never thought much about the men in the trucks. We only thought of how much fun it was to get them to blow their air horn. Isn’t that the way it goes? Most of the time our attention is focused on our little part of the world and what goes on there.

As Thanksgiving grows closer this year, my thoughts turn to all the men and women who faithfully transport goods across this great land of ours. Our economy and their families depend on them. This year I thank God for truckers since I am married to one of the best!