This may become one of the most interesting THANKSGIVING and Christmas holiday seasons to date.
(Musings of a Homemaker – Houghton Lake Resorter newspaper)
“Get that thing out of here and don’t you ever bring a snake into the house again!”
Turning from the kitchen sink just as my young son proudly showed me the snake he had captured in a jar;
It was the fall of 1964. I had three young boys under the age of seven and dirty laundry in the laundry room. Now I was being confronted with a snake in a jar.
Reality was here to stay.
Our countryside is beautiful.
The joy of living in this wonderful place never changes for me.
Snow covered fields have not yet arrived.
Even so, the pleasant anticipation of the coming winter is a given during this precious season of Thanksgiving in northern Michigan.
There will be no time for me to fix turkey and pumpkin pie this year.
With my three boys to keep an eye on, laundry to do, and dishes always in the sink, where would I find the time?
As is often the case,
Mother and Dad will rescue me.
They will calm our appetites with an invitation to a bountiful table at their peaceful home.
The annual Thanksgiving family gathering fills us with good food and pleasant memories of being together.
My greeting card list has not reached the length it will be in the future.
I’m trusting that some of our friends, who send cards to fill our mailbox, will understand when they don’t find a card from us in their mailbox.
Each year it warms our hearts to reach out to friends and family with a greeting card.
Little boys in need of attention at unexpected times, will assure the notes will be short. The printed verse on the card will express our feelings.
Mother always had her Christmas greeting cards prepared to send
the day after Thanksgiving.
I’m sure she remembered to prepare them even though pressing family matters used her time too.
I can assure you, there were no snakes in jars at the home of my parents. Little girls are not so prone to bring such creatures into the kitchen to show them to Mom.
Mother was ever faithful with her early holiday greeting. She enjoyed the notoriety of being the first greeting to be received by family and friends in far off places.
A portion of Thanksgiving day was spent composing her handwritten notes; expressing love and best wishes for the coming season.
Time will tell if Mother’s traditions fall to me as the years go by.
* * *
This may become one of the most interesting Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons to date.
Married sixty-two years in 2017, my husband, at the age of eighty-seven, passed on to his next life in the month of February.
Two of our little boys are now grown men. Our middle son died four years ago.
The experiences of all our lives have taken a very different turn.
The joy of grandchildren and the arrival of two great-granddaughters,
Willow and Eva,
has filled my heart to overflowing.
At the age of eighty-three,
it may be a bit too much for me to entertain the entire extended family here at the farm for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Looking at it in a different way, it will become a memory in the making for the younger folks.
Someone else will step in to host the pleasant family occasions.
There is a large electric cooker in the cupboard.
Recipes for pumpkin pie,
handed down from generations past,
lie inside the recipe box which once belonged to my Grandmother.
Four packages of pumpkin filling waits patiently in the freezer, prepared last year by my husband from real pumpkins.
Canning and freezing foods for the winter, from the garden which he so faithfully tended, was always part of his helpful preparation for the winter ahead.
I’ve been thinking about putting up the Christmas tree; should I or shouldn’t I?
How could I fail to do that?
This precious season is all about memories, families and the welcoming of the Christ Child.
The years bring changes, but love remains.
It really is the season for living and loving.
Photographs By Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck