Holiday memories are the best kind

By now, your carcass soup — you do make carcass soup don’t you? — is waiting for the mashed potatoes or noodles or rice, however you prefer, and maybe this is the best part of Thanksgiving. No company, no fuss and so filling and hearty you don’t even need dessert.

And speaking of Thanksgiving, I’ve yet to have mine as Dorin is coming home on the 23rd — (this writing is on the 18th) — isn’t it a shame that it barely surfaces between all the Halloween decorations that go up on Labor Day and the Christmas ones that were up on Halloween.

Here, on “the” day, before the feast and the jolly company, there’ll be the fervent thanks that once again we can all be together. I recall that last year I was unwell and just getting through the day was an effort. My fervent thanks that this year is different and I’m looking forward to it.

On every holiday, memories surface, ones we thought we’d forgotten. I recall sitting on the couch in the living room at home while carefully tearing the stuffing bread into the proper size. There was no such thing as packaged stuffing.

And in the kitchen Mother would hold the turkey over the stove’s gas flame to singe any pin feathers that remained. When the potatoes were ready to mash, there was great celebration as Daddy wielded our very first electric mixer, a gift from my uncle who was “better off” than we were! Never were mashed potatoes smoother!

An old friend, the late Esther Hamilton, longtime columnist for our daily paper, continued to write into her 80s and always wrote about her memories. I will not do that — today is much more important and tomorrow is sure to be even better. But holiday memories deserve to be remembered, don’t they?

* * *

Finally, the storm windows are up, thanks to Carol deSaulles and her daughter, Kathy Kachmer, and it is Kathy who goes to the roof and closes the windows there. My dear roofer, Don Rich, who for years comes in the spring and fall, has gone over the entire surface doing whatever needed to be done, and Jimmie will soon put up the storm front on the porch.

A low spot outside the horses’ doors has been a problem, collecting water and mud, and has defied a solution. When my tree helper, Angelo Gomez, came, he suggested filling it with wood chips — he had a great quantity in his “chipper” — and he and his helpers filled it to the brim.

And what would I do without Glenn Anthony, my great neighbor who has his own lawn service business. He is such a help with tasks I can no longer manage, like trimming the wisteria and the barberry and privet hedges and removing the fallen leaves that have carpeted the whole place. The sycamore was the last to let go and I was just going to ignore them but the high wind last week did the job — they’re now on my porch!

* * *

Some time after the holidays, a column about coyotes will fascinate you. Certainly they are everywhere. There is an old saying, “For thousands of years, coyotes have howled at the moon and still no answer.”

In an issue of Orion, a fine environmental, nature magazine, an article about “The Trickster” contains remarkable information about this adaptable animal.

* * *

Re the recent elections: I have this fun little book, Horse Sense, and one of the goodies reads, “The water won’t clear up until you get the hogs outta the creek!”

About the Author

A lifelong resident of the Mahoning Valley, Janie Jenkins retired in 1987 as a feature writer and columnist at the Youngstown Vindicator. In June of that same year, she started writing her column, "On My Mind" for Farm and Dairy. She loves all animals and is an accomplished equestrienne. Local history is also one of her loves, and her home, the former Southern Park Stables, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. More Stories by Janie Jenkins

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