This is the beginning of the Holiday Season. It all starts with Halloween and goes on until a couple days after New Years. Oh, I have such fond memories of those days in 50’s. One Thanksgiving Day in particular. All of us living at the end of the road in Strong had been washed, scrubbed, and inspected to be a good example of how we were taken care of. Our clothes were not supposed to have any mud or holes in them. For it was in those days that jeans that were ripped and not patched were an example of how your mother took care of you. If you were old enough, you did your own sewing. After we passed inspection, we were packed into the car. In those days just to get us all in one car and not the dump truck was quite a feat. If we were going fishing, it was the dump truck. All of us would pile in the back and ordered to remain seated. But it was cold, so we were packed like sardines into the car. Off we went to the grandparents for the big meal. This was when they had the big house. The table was the biggest I have ever seen. It had to be huge to seat the forty plus grandchildren. The youngsters were seated all around the table with the mothers taking charge of what we put on our plates. There were some of us, (brother and I for sure) who tried to take too much. The mothers made sure we took only as much as we could eat. For all of the plates were to be clean and empty for us to leave the table.

   Now I sit here and remember all those faces sitting around the table. There were the Bachelders, the Daggets, the Myshralls, the Palmers, the Whites, and there may have been a Howard or two there also. Those that were sitting way down at the other end were not really into focus very well. I would have to look beyond all of that great food. My vision seemed to blur after seeing the third bowl of mashed potatoes. None of us were to walk away from the table able to eat even one more homemade yeast roll or biscuit. OH, how I remember those biscuits. They were toasted brown from the wood stove and topped with homemade cows’ butter that had just the right amount of salt.

  Today as I think of all those faces, they are now the grandparents. Time has moved on and many no longer sit at the table. Years ago, even the house and the long table disappeared in a big fire. But for those that remain, this may be the saddest time of the year. Not because of those long gone. The memories are there and have been replaced by thoughts of their own children and grandchildren. As Halloween comes and goes, there was no need to buy candy anymore. Along comes Thanksgiving Day and there is no need to set the table. There is just the empty desire to make that pumpkin pie at least one more time. But no one will show and so the pie plate stays empty again this year. Hope begins to creep in for Christmas. You tell yourself; they now have a family and are just too busy. But the day slides slowly on by. Along with it, it takes a bit of hope and sunshine from your heart. As the New Year passes, the heart begins to fill with loneliness. It is now just another day, another year gone by.

  Times have indeed changed. Many of you are now grandchildren. One day possibly, you will be the grandparent. Please take a moment and think of the old folks. When did you see them last? When did you even talk with them? Was it this week, this month, or even once this year? Without them, there surely would be no you. Your life may be full of black clouds and drama, be that one ray of sunshine for them this year. You should try to make it a habit to see them, thank them for your very life. You may be the second or third generation still here, but, be the one that still shows love and respect for those that came before. Be the love, be the light, for one day you may be the lonely one.

Ken White mountainman   Ole tima now, well almost, but not yet

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