Memories from Thanksgiving Past

Mother and Daddy lived in the Texas Panhandle the first few years of their marriage–a time that brought them 3 children in a row. Dad was the foreman on a ranch near Canyon, and Mother, of course, was at home with the babies. One year at Thanksgiving, she asked Daddy what he wanted for dinner that day–knowing of course, that he would be working, as ranchers and farmers did not get a day off. He responded,

I don’t guess Thanksgiving is any different from any other day.

She made hot dogs. When dad came home for lunch, he looked at them and said,

Well, I don’t guess we ought to eat any better on Thanksgiving, but I figure we ought to at least eat as good.

That story was told over a lot of Thanksgivings over the years, and it was one of our favorite stories. I never knew if there were other words said that day between them, as neither ever said, and no one ever asked. I do know that from the time I can recall as a child, after every single meal, Dad would say, “I enjoyed my supper. Thank you.” Even if he did not, and even if we all knew he did not. He said it politely, with no hint of irritation or sarcasm. He said it until the day he was no longer able to get to the table and became bedfast. By then, Mom was not doing the cooking anyway.

At some point after we moved to Mississippi I quit making special dinners for holidays. Most of the time, one or both of us was in Texas, and the other was here, or if we were here, we just did not feel the need to make a lot of food for the 3 of us. Rather like Dad, I began to think that food-wise, there was no particular reason to gorge on a lot of food that was not necessary, and especially with no family or friends here. On the one occasion a friend was here for Thanksgiving, I did indeed make a traditional turkey dinner…on the barbeque grill when the electricity went out a nano second after I put the turkey in the oven.

Yesterday, I made green beans, mashed potatoes, an apple skillet cake, and a Kentucky ham, with a honey glaze using the honey from Morgan Freeman’s bees over in Charleston, Mississippi. It was a gift to me a couple of years ago from my colleague who is his good friend. J, who does not really care for ham other than on a sandwich, asked what was for dinner and when I told him, he said,

It’s not honey baked is it?

I said no, but I had glazed it lightly with honey from Morgan Freeman’s bee farm….which of course led to the question,

And why do you have honey from Morgan Freeman and why does he have a bee farm?

And now, I am moving far afield from the story of Thanksgiving past and the hot dogs. However, I did ask Randy on Monday what he wanted for dinner, turkey or hot dogs. Knowing the story, he said,

Turkey hot dogs!

I opted for neither.

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16 Responses to Memories from Thanksgiving Past

  1. Betty says:

    What a cute story! Your mom had her hands full with three small children, and I bet your dad worked until he was bone tired, too. I do enjoy the traditional Thanksgiving meal; although, we have taken the easy path – not this year, but the last several years by visiting our dear friend – Bob Evans. I hope you had an enjoyable day.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. peggyjoan42 says:

    A nice Thanksgiving story. Perfect answer of turkey hot dogs. Sounds just like something my husband would say – if the circumstances were the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. socialbridge says:

    I was enthralled reading this post, Suz.
    Your Dad reminds me of hubby who always says ‘thank you, that was lovely’ after every meal I serve up (even though I know he couldn’t possibly have enjoyed some of them, at least.

    You certainly have interesting friends!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Memories from Thanksgiving Past — Suzassippi’s Lottabusha County Chronicles | Ups Downs Family History

  5. Beth says:

    A sweet memory and a funny story from this Thanksgiving! Growing up, Thanksgiving was not a real big deal for us. Being military we were rarely close to family. Mama would make a nice meal and maybe we would use the nice china. In my teens, after we moved back to Texas, we would go to Luby’s Cafeteria. Today I enjoy Thanksgiving as a family time and just a nice meal together. I enjoy it and it is not a big deal, even today. And, my Daddy always appreciated my mother’s cooking, too. Especially those pecan pies….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzassippi says:

      Now this is a sweet memory and a sweet story! We never had nice china while growing up, just plain old dishes probably from the variety store, but on “special occasions” after Mother bought her second-hand dining room suite, we would eat in the dining room at “the big table.” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beth says:

        We didn’t use the china too often as it had to be hand washed! I think that’s why I enjoy using mine today. We had knock-off Melmac plates most of the time – or, I almost forgot about this, white paper plates in wicker holders. I swore I would never use paper plates in my home and I rarely do so!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Sheryl says:

    What a fun Thanksgiving story! The honey ham sounds delightful. I made a chicken this year. I turkey would have been way too much meat for the two of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzassippi says:

      Thank you, Sheryl. It was a nice ham, very small, and just right for the 3 of us and sandwiches the next day. We usually had roast chicken on our meals growing up, until the family got too large. 🙂


  7. Pat_H says:

    It’s funny, given that one of my two occupations is livestock, and I’ve been in rural and town lives my entire life, that I’ve found the observance of holiday meals to be a bigger deal up here than elsewhere. That is, ranch families here very much observe the Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts, often including friends and neighbors as well as family, more than people in town do, where it is observed, but it’s mostly a family gathering. This may be because every day is a work day, so here’s a real ability to have an exception.

    Years ago I read a recollection by an author who had grown up and moved into urban life about a 4th of July gathering on her parents ranch, and what a big deal it was. It was moving as it mentioned something that hadn’t occurred to me until I read it, which was “we were all young”. That is, she was young, as she was as child, but her parents and all of her parents friends were young too. I’m not longer young at any ranch gathering and haven’t been for quite some time, but that still strikes me as so many people I see at larger ranch gatherings fit the true meaning of “young adults”, they are fully adult, but still quite young.


    • Suzassippi says:

      Thank you for sharing this interesting observation, Pat. Many of the farming families featured in the Mississippi Farm Bureau magazine are also young adults, or mid-aged, though you will see features about older adults on occasion.


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