Granny’s house wasn’t this fancy, it was just a rectangular box with a gable roof, two rooms, no running water. The walls didn’t have drywall on them, the walls were covered with masonite, no insulation in the walls, other than crumpled up newspaper. The ceiling was some sort of fiber board. All of the electrical wiring was exposed, mounted on the surfaces of the walls. I would guess the house was built sometime in the late teens or early 1920’s. My Grandmother kept it clean and tidy, although she was very poor, probably never owned more than three or four dresses, maybe two pairs of shoes. It didn’t matter, when my parents went to her home, she was very sweet and kind to me. She was my Mothers Mother, and my only living Grandparent. She was born in 1881 and died in 1971. She was married twice, widowed twice, and raised 12 children in that tiny two room house, with no running water, an outside toilet, and a well. Amazingly, everyone of her children, married, made very good lives for themselves, and lived long happy lives. She lived her entire life in that small house.
The house sat across the road from a large city park, a creek ran through it, complete with minnows and tadpoles. The park had more than it’s share of pecan trees, which thrive in Oklahoma. My cousins and I spent a lot of time gathering pecans in the fall for the Holidays. Also blackberries were abundant, which our Moms turned into delicious blackberry cobbler. The little neighborhood was a poor area, but the people were wonderful, and we loved to go there and hang out in the park.
Based on the picture I just painted for you, having a large Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma’s house probably wouldn’t make much sense. This little house, was where my Mom, and her sisters were born and raised. It makes perfect sense they would want to go home for Thanksgiving, and they did. Probably between 20 and 30 people would converge on that little tiny house with all kinds of food and drink, and we had the most wonderful Thanksgiving dinners imaginable. Somehow, we all found a place to sit and eat. Afterwards the youngsters would play in the park, while the adults caught up on all the latest stuff happening in their families. Out of all the many Thanksgivings I have experienced in my life, those are probably the most memorable.
My family was comprised of good, hardworking folks, most of them born in the early part of the last century. None of them were rich with money, but they were rich with good families. They were rich with great attitudes, and a sense of humor. Many of them talented artists, and craftsmen. They were rich with the desire to be good citizens, and good Americans. They stood and saluted the flag with great respect, some of them died defending it. I will forever be thankful for these people and the lessons they taught me.
Take a moment and remember those people in your past this Thanksgiving, and what they meant to you and your life. All of my aunts and uncles, and some of my cousins are gone now. I will forever remember those times we spent together, so very long ago.
Wishing all of you a very Happy Day of Thanks. Even though it’s been a tough year, there are many things we can be grateful for.
VERITAS VINCIT ~ LIVE FREE OR DIE