Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks for all our blessings. As Americans, we’ve already won the so-called lottery of places to live and we need to recognize that even if we struggle, we have it better than many people in the world.
Today, I want to take a break from my usual business and life success stories so I can share about my favorite Thanksgiving memories with you.
As a kid growing up, Thanksgiving was especially exciting for me because it meant two things:
1. It signaled the start of quail season, and 2. It meant seeing all my aunts and uncles and cousins for Thanksgiving meal.
Every Thanksgiving, my Dad and I would be out in the woods right after daylight and we would let our dog, Honey, out to look for quail. We had several places we hunted in Roanoke, Alabama, which worked beautifully for the holiday because my grandmother, “MamMaw”, lived there.
For those who have never hunted quail, it is a thing of beauty watching a quail dog work. Dad and I would hunt all morning till about 11:30 am and go into town and see all of Mom’s family. The good thing about Thanksgiving was that all our aunts, uncles and cousins were always there. It was the only holiday that it seemed that everyone would be together as Christmas and other holidays were much harder to get everyone together in one place.
We would have Thanksgiving dinner at MamMaw’s house. The food was incredible and it was great fun seeing everyone there. Of course, we had turkey, ham, and cornbread dressing, plus sweet potato casserole and green bean casserole. I hate green beans to this day, but for some unknown reason, I love the green bean casserole Mom would make at Thanksgiving. Maybe it was the French-cut green beans, but it just seemed to taste better.
And desserts — you wouldn’t believe the desserts: coconut cake, pecan pie, lemon icebox pie, and much more. We could have probably skipped the turkey dinner and gone straight to the desserts.
Oh, and it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without football! The boys, which were eight of the ten grandchildren, went out into the Piggly Wiggly parking lot and played touch football until everyone started to leave. Playing football, with all the different ages, one of us would certainly fall on the asphalt and skin a knee or elbow and get mad or go in crying. It was all part of it.
When the families would start to leave, Dad and I would head back out into the woods with Honey to bring home quail for a later meal. It was a lot more difficult hunting after the big Thanksgiving dinner, though. We always had way too much food and I felt obliged to eat a little of everything lest it make an aunt or cousin mad because I didn’t try their new recipe. We didn’t have Jeeps and hunting buggies like much of the quail hunting is done today, so we hoofed it every inch of the way. If we lost sight of Honey, we knew she was probably pointed somewhere, and we would hurry to find her waiting for us.
Cherish the memories
I know each of you have special memories of Thanksgiving with your family. I believe it’s important to remember those days as they were simple, loving, and fun. Our responsibility is to build the memories for our kids, brothers, sisters, and the other members of our families so when they grow older, they will still have fond memories to hold on to.
I wish each and every one of you a Blessed Thanksgiving!