Thanksgiving is the time of year that draws me into reflections of blessings I have and a walk back down memory lane.
I am so blessed with a wonderful family, however this year we are all over the place the from Texas, West Virginia, to Oregon. The Thanksgiving table will be a little empty this year, we also lost mom in April she’s enjoying this Thanksgiving with the love of her life dad. Miss you ma.
Back to aunt Alice, a small woman kinda like Olive Oil from Popeye, full of vinegar and pepper with a pinch of snuff in her lip. But don’t let that fool you, even at 72 she carried water from the spring house, stacked her own firewood and walked a good 200 yards everyday to the mailbox at the hard road. Aunt Alice was a hard southern women that I don’t recall her saying she loved anybody, but everything she did spoke volumes that the only thing she lived for was her family. Her house was down a mild sloping grade spit in the middle of 140 acres located in Independence Virginia. Most of her farm was pasture now where her brother Beryl raised beef cattle they sold at market and one for freezer meat. Now my thanksgiving memory. Dad had planned to go to his home place for Thanksgiving, best recall I was twelve. We had just bought our first newish car 2 year old Ford Fairlane white and yellow. One thing I hated about it was the seat covers they had these tiny little plastic bubbles in the summer stuck to your bare legs.
Plans all made Virginia bound, dads brother Chief, mom, dad, and me 6 hour drive but all new territory for me what an adventure.
Okay background set its Thanksgiving morning, Virginia cold for November and my cousins Billy, Annie, Sam, and Betty G never knew what the G was for slept upstairs.
In the south everybody slept with one window partly open in the bedroom burr those floors were cold. The only heat was a wood furnace downstairs and the huge grete in the floor where the heat would rise to ”heat” the upstairs. The trick was to survive the bare feet on the cold floor until you hopped into the big fluffy down mattress bed with a big handmade quilt on it. Once you snuggled down into it and your body heat helped out, ah it was lights out till morning.
Heres the memory aunt Alice calls up Tommy (yes that’s what she called me) y’all get up now I need some water for breakfast. Cold almost see my breath, I put one foot on the floor oh no way where’s my socks (trick is you keep you next day socks in the bed with you so they are warm) then I get this wonderful smell biscuits. You have not lived unless you have smelled fresh homemade biscuits breaking through a cold morning. Billy and I were the first downstairs all the adults up and busy, out to the springhouse filled two pitchers for breakfast and coffee. Sat down at the big breakfast table filled with everythin, a huge cast iron skillet with dried beef gravy, three plates of biscuit, a bowl of steaming cooked apples and a pan of what aunt Alice called scrambles. A mixture of diced potatoes, spring onions, and eggs, we weren’t hungry again until dinner, a little twist in the south it’s usually ham and not turkey for thanksgiving unless you have shot one. That’s my memory of aunt Alice‘s breakfast. Here’s a picture I found in ma‘s stuff, this was when it was sold after her passing, mom, dad, Shawn and I went back in 1989 it just wasn’t the same.
Lots of music played on that porch, kitchen to the right with a huge wood cook stove. Spring house just out of sight to the right.