Thanksgiving at the Farm

Author: Bruce Cook

As a young couple Laura Lee and I always had a longing to own a place in the country that we could go to and just get away from the outside world, to be together as a family and feel close to God. In the fall of 1969 we saw an ad in the Wetzel County green tab about an old farm. Dad, Laura Lee and I went to look at it. The big old farm house was in terrible condition. I wasn’t sure about it but dad said that we could fix it up. Laura Lee and I made an offer that they later decided to accept.

For a number of years Mom, Dad, Laura Lee, our children and I would spend nearly all of our weekends and holidays at the farm working. Mom would spend a lot of time baking and cooking. Laura Lee worked along with her but also helped dad and I a great deal as well as cutting a lot of grass as we kept expanding our yard area to include all of the area around the barn. While my son John and daughter Judy were growing up we wouldn’t go down much after the weather got cold except for a day or two to deer hunt. Sometimes two or three of John’s high school friends would come along to hunt with us. We would always go back home for Thanksgiving. John liked to deer hunt from the very start.

John got married and later on Judy was married to one of the guys that would go down and hunt with John. Both later having children and thus families of their own. It was then that we started to spend thanksgiving at the farm.

For several years now the last full week of November signals many things to me. Deer hunting season, Thanksgiving, the atmosphere of food and love has been unforgettable, as well as being close to god out there in the country, hay fields and woods. I must say though that I worry a lot about being snowed in by a large snow and our children coming and going at different times.

Laura Lee and I start buying and planning the food and other supplies that will be needed for that week well in advance. It’s a lot of work for Laura Lee but she always manages to have a great meal prepared for Thanksgiving Day. She gets out of bed well before daylight to start preparing our Thanksgiving meal. The aroma of turkey and dressing, along with mashed potatoes, hot rolls, candied yams, cranberry sauce and vegetables. After all of this there is usually a pumpkin and cherry pie to cap it all off, indeed a meal fit for a royal family.

We all sit crowded around our kitchen table enjoying our traditional meal and talking about many things. Each one eating until they can barely get the last bite down. Some have to cancel dessert until a little later on.

After the meal there is usually a football game on television for the men to watch, and of course the bummer of all the cleaning up and washing dishes by the women. This is always a big chore for them because of the amount of dishes, pots and pans as well as the utensils to wash and dry. Out there in the country they are still washed and dryed the old fashioned way.

After all of this, some take a short nap or watching television. We usually have our meal later in the day after the men have come in from hunting at a designated time to eat.

Fall at the farm is a wonderful time to be there. It is a time when God puts on his best show of color, in trees, frost on the grass and roof tops, with colorful sun rises and sun sets. A sight to behold and revel in his delightful work of art. At times some of the leaves on trees seem to glow as if they are painted with a fluorescent paint. Being out in the woods with leaves falling lazily all around you gives you a full awareness of God’s work and peace that he provides.

Today Laura Lee and I are in our seventies with me being well into them. This year God willing we will all be together again. We’re not sure how much longer we can continue to do this. We will have our same Thanksgiving meal, hunt and talk about many things and build another year of memories that I hope will be retained and remembered by our children and grandchildren as I have remembered them. May God bless our family and may we always see and appreciate the beauty of his work. I can only imagine what it must have looked like in the Garden of Eden. I Praise the Lord for Thanksgiving at the farm.

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