(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. We 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 today. 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 arrival is a given in this precious season of Thanksgiving in northern Michigan.
There will be no time for me to fix turkey and pumpkin pie this year. With three boys to keep an eye on, laundry to do, and dishes waiting in the sink, where would I find the time?
As is often the case, Mother and Dad will rescue me. They will calm our appetities with an invitation to a bountiful table at their peaceful home.
The joy of the annual Thanksgiving family gathering offers not only good food but pleasant conversation filled with memories of being together during the holiday season.
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 one from us in theirs.
Each year it warms our hearts to reach out to friends and family. But, little boys in need of attention at unexpected times assure the notes from me will be short.
The printed verse on the card must say it all.
Mother always had her Christmas greeting cards prepared to send the day after Thanksgiving. I’m sure she reserved the time to prepare them even when pressing family matters used her time too.
I can assure you there were no snakes in jars at the home of my Mother during the growing up years of my sister and me. Mother and I shared our dislike for those little creatures.
Mother was ever faithful with her early holiday greeting and enjoyed the notoriety of being the first greeting to be received by family and friends.
A portion of Thanksgiving day was spent composing her handwritten notes expressing love and best wishes for the coming year.
Time will tell if I inherit Mother’s other traditions as the years go by.
* * *
New Memories New Traditions
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 during the month of February.
Two of our little boys are now grown men. Our middle child died six years ago. The experiences of all our lives have taken a very different turn.
The joy of grandchildren and the arrival of three great-granddaughters, Willow, Eva and Meadow, have filled our hearts to overflowing.
At the age of eighty-four, it may be a bit too much to entertain the entire extended family here at the farm for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Looking at it in a different way, it’s sure to become memories in the making for the younger folks who will take on that pleasant responsibility.
There is a large electric cooker in the cupboard and many recipes from my grandmother waiting in the recipe box.
I’ve been thinking about putting up the Christmas tree.
How could I fail to do that?
This precious season is all about memories, families and the welcoming of the Christ Child.
The passing of years doesn’t change everything. Some things never change.
It really is the season of living and loving.