Smoke billowed from the chimney, as cars began to gather in front of the old log cabin for the annual Thanksgiving family meal. Children played ball or climbed trees. Inside the adults were busy preparing food and setting the long tables. Aunt Jessie had brought pies of all sorts. In the oven a turkey was roasting, emitting an aroma that could not be resisted. Mama was busy mashing potatoes and making creamy white gravy. Papa was preparing his famous fruit punch. Finger vegetables, pickles, and olives sat around the one room cabin in various places to accommodate those who could not wait for dinner to be ready.

Mama told everyone to put their salads on the buffet table so that people could line up and get what they wanted. Cousin Zelda had brought cous cous salad. Auntie Wilma set out her big pot of molasses baked beans. Papa opened the wood stove and took out a beautifully browned turkey. Yummy! He carved it and put it on platters. When the food was all prepared, everyone was called to get in line. Hungry children pushed into the crowded room and grabbed paper plates and plastic tableware. Something from each dish, made it to the plate. Lots of talking was going on, while people stuffed their faces. Then the children headed outside, avoiding clean up duty, while the men joined them. The women as usual were delegated to do all the cleaning up. Once all was cleaned, the women sat around talking.

Then someone came in asking if it was dessert time. The women laughed. How, with all the full tummies, could anyone manage to eat more. Uncle John came in with the ice cream maker. He had churned up some home made ice cream. The pies were cut, cookies set out on plates, and a steady stream of people came in and out, getting sweet goods to eat.

All of a sudden, someone shouted. "Hey! It is starting to snow." Everyone worried that they might get stuck in the snow. So the different members of the family, got into their cars and left before the snow came down harder. They all had to get back to the city. Mama, Papa, my brother and I, were spending entire weekend. So we closed up the cabin and lit the fire in the fire place. It didn't matter if we should get stuck in the snow. There was an abundance of left over food. And we had a huge stack of logs outside just waiting to be brought in to burn.

The next day, my brother and I took sleds, and had a glorious day of sliding downhill in the snow. When Sunday night came along, we all had to get back to the city. We packed up the car, locked up the cabin, and headed out. The car came to one spot in the driveway that was a bit steep. It kept sliding back. Papa got out a shovel, and my brother took some old burlap bags and lay them for the tires to gain traction. We managed to get out and head for home. We slept quite well that night in our own warm beds. It had been a very fun Thanksgiving gathering. And the days we stayed at the cabin afterwards, were relaxed and stress free. We looked with anticipation to the next year for the annual Thanksgiving family party.






By Sharon (Sunyskys@aol.com)

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