BY my friend, Ben
It’d been quite a spell since it were this warm the weekend before Thanksgivin’ It were. I reckoned it were nigh on to seventy-five degrees. It were. Course the trees had perty much lost all their leaves since we had that there windstorm a few days ago. They did.
It bein’ Saturday an’ all, I reckoned I’d find somethin’ to do so I wouldn’t waste
the day. But right now I were just enjoyin’ sittin’ on the porch in the warm sun an’ rockin’ in Ma’s ol’ rocker. I were.
Ol’ Blue come over an’ laid his head on my leg an’ looked at me with them big ol’ brown eyes. He did. I sure wish I knowed what were goin’ on in that head a his. All I knowed is it were somethin’ good. I did.
After I rubbed his head a bit he headed offen the porch. He did. I reckon he were headed down to the barn to look for a critter or two.
I could see he were favorin’ his right hip. He were. Ol’ Doc Vickers said he had so many different kinds of hound in him he were doin’ good for his age. He did. But that didn’t stop him from gettin’ a tad of arthritis in that hip. It didn’t. So Doc gave me some pills to help with it. He did.
Lookin’ up the lane the other way I could see the big ol’ sugar maple tree on top the hill. I could. It were as red as blood a few weeks ago, but now it stood all alone. Kinda lonely-like.
That were the tree I sat under after Ma’s funeral. I did. It were mid November, an’ it were rainy an’ cold. It were. Pa knowed I needed to do what I had t do, so he let me alone. He did. It were just me’n ol’ Blue sittin’ in the rain under that sugar maple tree. It were.
We didn’t have no Thanksgivin’ that year. Fact is, there weren’t no Thanksgivin’s after that. It weren’t that we were ungrateful. It were just that the smells an’ sounds of Thanksgivin’ weren’t never the same as Ma’s Thanksgivin’s. They weren’t.
There were somethin’ about that ol’ maple tree that took me back to the Thanksgivin’ the year before Ma got sick. It did.
That year she decided to use a recipe for oyster stuffin’. She did. She’d found it in an ol’ cookbook of her ma’s. She did. I reckon Ma wanted to make that oyster dressin’ cause them oysters seemed to make it real special to her. It did. I reckon it were like we were eatin’ rich folk’s food. It were Thanksgivin’ an’ Ma always wanted everthing to be as nice as possible. She did. Cause she loved makin’ me an’ Pa happy the added expense of them oysters didn’t make no matter. It didn’t.
Thing were, me’n Pa weren’t sure we liked oysters. We didn’t. But we knowed Ma wanted Thanksgivin’ to be special, so we didn’t say nothin’ We didn’t.
Well, she stuffed that bird with her oyster dressin’ until it were about to pop. She did. When that turkey were done all that stuffin’ were filled with the turkey juice. It were.
There were one other thing Ma put in that dressin’. It were the giblets. I reckon she done it ‘cause the recipe called for ‘em’. Well, Thanksgivin’ come an’ there were a piece of gizzard hidin’ right in the big spoonful of dressin’ Ma put on my plate. Afor I knowed it, it were in my mouth. It were. It seemed to be growin’ an about to choke me. It were. I didn’t want to spit it out right there in front of Ma an’ Pa, so I ran outside to the back porch. The last time I saw that there piece a gizzard it were headin’ toward the north forty. It were.
I reckon Ma an’ Pa thought I were choking to death, cause they come a runnin’. They did. When they knowed I were alright, Ma asked what was wrong. She did. Now I didn’t want to hurt Ma’s feelin’s none. I didn’t. But I told her I reckon I’d got ahold of the gizzard. I did. I told her I liked her stuffin’ a whole lot, but not the giblets.
We all went back to the table. We did. Ma were all quiet-like for a while. She were. I reckoned I’d hurt her feelin’s. I knowed she’d worked real hard to make Thanksgivin’ special. I did.
Next thing I knowed, Ma let out a little laugh. She did. When me’n Pa looked at her she were smilin’. She were. She said, “Iffen I’da knowed you wouldn’t like them giblets in the stuffin’ I’da left ‘em out.” She did. Pa told her what was important to me’n him were that Thanksgivin’ were just the way she wanted it, giblets an’ all. He did. Ma said what made her the most thankful were all of us eatin’ Thanksgivin’ together around the table. She did. She told us not to worry about any more giblets bein’ in the stuffin’ She did. Then she asked, kinda jokin’-like, iffen we had any other improvements to her stuffin’. She did. Pa looked at me an’ I looked at him. I did. I weren’t about to say nothin’. Not after spittin’ out that gizard. Finally Pa said, “It might be nice to leave out the oysters.” He did. Well Ma broke out laughin’ an’ said next year there wouldn’t be no giblets or oysters in the stuffin’. She did.
Ma were gone by the next Thanksgivin’. She were. So me’n Pa never got to taste no more a Ma’s no giblet an’ oyster dressin’. In the years followin’ Pa would take me over to Miss McKnights Boardin’ House for Thanksgivin’. He would. It were right nice with home-cooked food. An’ there were lot’s a folks who ate there, so it were a little like family. It were.
Five years later Pa were killed in a accident at the sawmill. He were. Me bein’ big for my age I reckon folks didn’t feel no need to think I couldn’t get by on my own, even though I were just fifteen. They gave me a job at the sawmill an’ me’n ol’ Blue went on with our lives. We did.
I reckon I got a lot to be thankful for. I do. Almost ever Thanksgivin’ since Pa died some folks at church have invited me to be with them. They have. I reckon there are all kinds of families in the world. I do. An’ sometimes them what ain’t related are just as much family as those what are. An’ that’s somethin’ to be thankful for. It is.
CONCERNS: Joanne Elder’s new granddaughter, Lilian (Lilly) had to have corrective surgery. It went well, but she will have to be hospitalized a few more days. Gary Overstreet is in rehab at Raleigh Court. Scot Blessing has been down with gout. Both Martha Foy and Joanne Elder are job hunting. Melanie (Brown) Gentry is still recovering. Wayne Flora’s father may have to have surgery soon. Rachel Mitchell is having health issues. Remember Jim White’s mother, Carol Jones. Former member Betty Shepherd has breast cancer. Teryn Gaynor’s mother continues to improve. Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Joni Beach’s aunt, Betty Voss, and a niece, Jamie Cole. Wayne Phlegar, David Albert and Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, also a cousin, Tolly Nicklas and a friend, Chris Campbell. Ray and Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Stephanie Rigney, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.
OUR DAILY BREAD: NOV. 21-26
Monday: I Samuel 16:1-13
Tuesday: Mark 15:1-20
Wednesday: Luke 12:1-12
Thursday: I John 2:11-24
Friday: I Peter 4:1-19
Saturday: Psalm 11:1-7
OUR DAILY BREAD: NOV. 28-DEC. 3
Monday: Joshua 24:14-28
Tuesday: Acts 9:1-9
Wednesday: James 5:1-18
Thursday: I John 1:5-2:6
Friday: Hebrews 12:1-14
Saturday: Psalm 138:1-8
Joanne Elder is a grandmother again. David and his wife had a baby girl on Nov. 9. The baby weighed 6lbs 12 oz. Her name is Lilian (Lilly). As noted in the concerns section, she had to have surgery for a twisted bowel. She is doing fine.
Also: Judy and T. J. Hall became great-grandparents. Their son Perry’s daughter had twins on Nov. 10. They live in Johnson City, TN.
SPECIAL SERVICE TODAY
This is the third Sunday of the Month. That means the service will be different from the regular sermon. Mike and Karen Branch will be conducting the worship service today.
Today is Super Sunday. That means we will enjoy a meal together following the service. It will also be the first fire in the fireplace for the season. Plan to stay.
NO SERVICE WEDNESDAY EVE.
Due to the Thanksgiving holiday with folks preparing meals and being away with family, there will be no Wednesday evening service on Nov. 24.
THE CHRISTMAS PARTY
The turkey isn’t even in the roaster and we’re talking about Christmas! The reason is that due to so many holiday parties and conflicts, we need to take a look at the best early dates available to the most people.. Please look at you schedule for December and pick out a good date for you. The sign-up list will ask which dates are best for you. All this is needed in order to see when and if the party is scheduled.
OUT OF THE OFFICE
Keith will betaking a few days vacation this week. He will be in town, but not in the office as usual.
As we approach the winter months remember that on weather related issues we will send emails to everyone who has an e address. Others will be called, and if time allows, a notice will be on the local television stations. Also. On Wednesday evenings when the temperature is below freezing, there will be no service.