Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Memories

Growing up on the farm set the stage for loving Thanksgiving.  The harvest was in.  The cattle back from the South pasture, the crop was celebrated and tucked neatly away in bins and storage places.  The midwest weather was somewhat predictable...snow was coming and it was time to hunker down.  So, all the animals were housed for the winter.  All the corn was picked and ground up to fatten the cattle.  All the cucumbers were neatly stuffed in jars to become pickles, and all the family gathered 'round the piano.  Childhood memories.  Sketchy.  Wonderful. 

I grew up and moved away.  Thought something better was out there.  Little did I know.  But, on Thanksgiving, everybody came back.  My parents made it wonderful.  Mom in the kitchen making pure magic.  Dad on his machines showing the children wonderment. 

Many Thanksgivings blur into one wonderful memory.  Dad on the tractor pulling a wagon of family.  Everyone.  The Corporate Vice President, the business owner, the music teacher, the California queen.  All them and their bitty ones too.  We all climbed in the wagon and took a ride.  Great grandma had to be lifted on.  Round and round we would ride. "Over the river the through the woods..."  There was no real river and no real woods, but the flavor was there.  We rode with joy over the hills of the land that was ours. 

The children connected.  They connected to who they are, where they came from, where they were going, and who rooted them.  Those children are now adults.  Most have children of their own and are giving them their own version of the grandpa wagon ride. 

Farm heritage is dirt blood.  It's real and complete and will grow in the soul like a seed in the dirt.  It's good.  Sometimes hard, but good.  It's very close to God.  God and dirt flow through the farm girl's reality with fluid exchange. 

So, that's why I get teary on Thanksgiving...because I've been so very blessed and this day reminds me of  wagon ride experiences. 

Years have passed.  Mom's magic stopped suddenly almost 30 years ago.   Dad's more recent, but the heritage, the connect, the knowing, the dirt knowledge, the corn power, the hills and the hunt, they remain. 
I am so very thankful for the family God gave me, for the one He gave my children.  Thanksgiving brings tears and laughter and joyful memories. 

Today was different, but lovely. Jed and I had a day to ourselves.  I made soup.  That makes me happy and connected to family.  Margaret brought us a plate of turkey and all the trimmings and we sat in bed and ate her deliciousness.  We practiced standing and then went outside.  Built a fire on the deck and talked to loved ones.  It was nice.  Wagon rides are those kinds of things that happen without knowing how treasured they will be.

1 comment:

  1. Mom, you have to teach me to make the pickles. Nice memories.