By Susan Shanklin
I just know you are waiting for a Thanksgiving report. Ha ha.
Folks, this is what I think about for the whole year! Thanksgiving! It’s special, special to me and our children, their spouses, our grandchildren, and guests.
It’s about the only time I can get the whole family together under one roof for food, laughter, and love.
I text messaged my daughter, Heidi, this morning and said,”Do you know you have been coming to my house for Thanksgiving for 42 years?!”
Yes, it’s big here. Big menu, big table and big hearts.
People, it’s such a joy for me that I just about explode.
I started thinking about the NEXT Thanksgiving day right after Thanksgiving. Tom and I jot down notes of ways to improve. I make mental notes of how recipes turned out and children’s tastes or grown-up tastes.
Why, I just found out that Nathan, my son’s, favorite pie is cherry. Who would have thought? I didn’t know that.
Come November I have to send out an email making sure everyone is coming, and then I wait for responses.
YES! Everyone is coming! Yippie.
My first thought is…..Yikes, I have to clean the house realllllly reallllly good. This is my chore. This is the labor that I don’t enjoy. Cooking and baking is a snap, but cleaning. Oh brother, what a pain!
Having a wood stove going all the time produces ashes and dust and bark and dirt. Because of the wood stove, I know I will have to keep cleaning until the cows come home, but I would rather be warm and dirty than cold and clean. 🙂
Another issue even more worrisome were the “stink bugs,” as Emmeline, my 4-year-old granddaughter from Iowa, calls them. Actually, they are Asian beetles imported to eat Aphids off the soybean plants. Our little farmstead is surrounded by fields. So, every other year the farmer switches his crop from corn to soybeans, and this year it was soybeans. So I believe allllll the stink bugs took refuge in my house when the crops were harvested and the temps went downward.
Emmeline and her brother Everett came for a visit two weeks before T-day and I have a vacuum toy bug sucker upper with a magnifying piece on it.
Emmeline’s job during that visit was to suck bugs. With great glee and squeals, Emmie, would say, “Grandma, come look. I caught one!”
I would applaud, and she would run to find another one. One on the ceiling, one on the wall, one rolled over on it’s back on the dining room table. Everywhere a bug!
I lived in horror of the thought of one dying in mid air over the table on Thanksgiving day! I even thought of sending out an email warning of my bug problem. Tom said that was not a good idea.
Well, God must have used His super-duper bug gun because no death on the table or on the floor. All-e-lu-jah!
I cleaned and mopped. I de-cluttered, which I found very refreshing. I rearranged furniture. I had Tom clean bugs out of ceiling lights. I ordered new curtains for the living room, all the while formulating the FOOD plan!
If I just thought about cleaning when cleaning, I would have quit! While I’m vacuuming, dusting, and washing, my mind is on something more important—food.
FOOD! Lots of food. Oh, it’s really just the usual—roasted brined turkey, dressing, trimming, and stuffing. Homegrown veggies and pickles and mac and cheese. One new addition was roasted cauliflower … which I semi-over-browned in the oven, because I forgot about it. It NEVER did make it to the table. Scratch that off for next year!
A super new menu addition was gingerbread whoopie pies, stuffed with yummy cream cheese filling. Oh my, roll your eyes back in your head goooooood! (recipe in Magnolia Journal, Winter issue)
Oh, oh, the big day arrives. I’m up and at ‘em at 4:35 a.m. Thursday. Putter putter around, laying out dishing and pans, checking my menu which is under a magnet on the fridge, and checking my to do lists throughout the day.
I start to assemble my ingredients for the dressing. I collect my homemade bread, butter, broth, herbs, onions, and celery.
I notice as I take out the celery that the shelf of the bin is rather dirty under the glass. You know—where the glass sits on the railings.
Here I am in my nightie with a bucket of warm soapy vinegar water prying the glass shelf off the rungs and wiping it down! As I’m reaching way back in a contorted position. I start to giggle thinking about how many other woman or men in America are doing the same thing. Cleaning their stupid fridge!
No one noticed my clean fridge or belly up bugs—or else they were to polite enough not to say so.
But, this Thanksgiving was all and more than I could have dreamed of.
God is so good to me.
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