In spite of looming deadlines, this time next week I will be taking time off from genealogy to shop and prepare for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. I’ll still be working. Lord knows, my laptop is a fifth appendage. But I’ll be cutting back so that I can clean, bake, and spend time with family.
The holidays are a Big Deal for us. Throughout most of the year we try to have family time at least once a month, but for some reason, we spend most of our time together as a family from about September to the following February or March. Part of that is the holidays, and part is due to basketball season. Some must be attributed to winter weather, when the nights fall early and a chill is in the air. This is when we all have the urge to gather ’round the card table for a competitive game of Canasta or two.
When we were little, Thanksgiving was divided between the homes of my two grandmothers. Mom always began preparing days ahead of time, either at our home or at her parents’ home in the Longview community of Macon County, just a few miles up the road. The children were always drafted into helping. We hauled and carried, chopped and washed, cleaned and swept. Ours were the menial tasks requiring little thought but much effort, so that the skilled hands of our mothers could continue apace.
When all the cooking was done, the counters were so full of pies, cakes, stuffing, my grandmother’s special rolls, and other goodies that there was no room for anything else when the feast began. And when everyone was too full to move, the children were called upon once again to expedite the massive clean-up.
My grandmothers are now gone, as is my mother. I imagine they’re sitting up in Heaven looking down on us, thankful that their good work is being carried on to another generation.