Sunday, November 7, 2010

Over The River...

When I was in elementary school, many, many years ago, every year, about a week or so before Thanksgiving,we'd sing this song. I don't know what the name of it was but it went... Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go, the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh- something, something, something. I can't remember the rest of the lyrics. I don't know if they still sing it or not. I was young enough at the time that I hadn't experienced enough life or picked up enough baggage along the way to become self-conscious, so I would sing that song with gusto. I thoroughly enjoyed Thanksgiving, not so much for the food, although the pumpkin pie was always a treat and it was the only time we ever ate turkey. There was something about that day that I knew was special. I don't know if it was because we were out of school for a few extra days or because Mac usually had his shipment of Christmas trees arriving in boxcars about then or if maybe it was that the first snow usually fell about that time. I remember my Dad always wore a suit and tie on that day and we sat at the dining room table instead of the kitchen and Dad would bless the food. I felt warm and secure and happy and though I didn't express it, I think I was thankful.
Today I experienced those feelings from so long ago again. Though it's not Thanksgiving day according to the calendar, today we celebrated a day of thanksgiving at Game Creek in what has become an annual tradition. The folks at the farm welcomed the entire town of Hoonah for a feast and people in record numbers showed up this year. People who've been coming there for years as well as folks who set foot on the property for the first time showed up. We had a whole batch of school teachers and fishermen, loggers and greenies and folks who lived there at one time and don't any longer, and of course those who still do, and everyone in between. I heard that at least 120 guests had shown up and I think folks were still coming in after the counting had been done. The farm provided the turkey and stuffing, potatoes and gravy and I don't know what all else and the guests added to the pot with salads and pies and sidedishes of all kinds. Of course the food was delicious, but more than anything else, I enjoyed the fellowship. I talked with old friends and met new ones and everywhere I looked people were having a good time. For a short while we put aside the lables that we usually assign to others and just enjoyed a delightful meal in the company of friends. It's what good memories are made of.
Speaking of good memories and friends, for anyone reading this who may not know them, the top picture is of my very good friends Bob and Gail Pinard. They lived at the farm during the time that we were there. You can see they are both wearing Xtra-tuff sixteen inch boots to make the treck across the fields. It's standard fare here in Southeast. Someone is actually writing a book about Xtra-tuffs. I'm not sure what all you can say about them to hold the reader's interest, but I guess that's not my problem. Bob is packing a twelve guage shotgun just in case an unwelcome brown bear should want to challenge our presence there. Needless to say there were a number of guns that made an appearance on the trail between the parking area and the tabernacle today. Fortunately they weren't needed, but this time of year when food is getting scarce for them, you can't be too careful. I took a picture of the cabin just because I like the way it looks. It was built sometime before 1976 when we arrived, and as you can see no one has lived there for a good long while. Anyway, that's a short look at another wonderful day of thanksgiving at Game Creek, and like those days when I was just a boy, today once again I felt warm and secure and happy and I'd like to express my gratitude to the folks at Game Creek who opened up their home and welcomed a multitude to a banquet. Thanks so much! God bless.

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