Niagara Gazette — In fact, it had taken months of planning and preparation for the big moment to arrive signaling the official beginning of the meal. We’d bow our head while Dad said grace, giving thanks to God and his family for making it possible for that special moment to arrive on schedule, always at precisely three o’clock sharp.
But Mom had actually begun the whole process back during planting season in early spring when she and Dad laid out the backyard garden. They knew then that some of those collard greens and green beans that we were planting would wind up on the Thanksgiving table.
They knew at harvest time that some of the mason jars that my sisters were filling with those special home grown beans would be set aside on the basement shelves, not to be mixed up with the dozens of others filled with beans we bought from the farms not to be touched until Mom gave the order on Thanksgiving Day to go and get them. Sometimes weeks before the grand feast, she’d start baking.
We’d pile in the door, peeling off our heavy coats, hats, gloves, and scarves, warn out and hungry from a long hard day at school, exhausted after the long hike in the bitter cold, excited to be home, in a house saturated with love and filled with the aroma of heavy butter-laden pound cakes and pies of all sorts, most of which could be touched until Thanksgiving Day, forced to eat steaming hot homemade chicken noodle soup instead.
It was delightful torture, well worth the wait; a sublime lesson about patience.
At the kids’ table, we rambled on about Christmas. In those days, there was no official “Black Friday,” we knew that the shopping season did not start until after Thanksgiving was over, a tradition we should all try to hang on to.