Thanksgiving in Minnesota
by George Cuff
We would wake up early Thanksgiving morn to special kitchen sounds.
Mom was preparing to roast the stuffed turkey until it was golden brown.
The kitchen looked like a surgical suite with knives and utensils galore.
There were potatoes to peel, pies to be cut and cranberries from the store.
"It's cereal for you my boys," she said, "and then you can play outdoors.
But first get dressed and help your dad finish the morning chores.
Gather the eggs and feed the chickens; dress warm; its cold out today.
After breakfast there will be time to go outside and play."
We had a big barn with hay stored up top to feed our livestock cattle.
We played war in hay-bale mountains winning many a battle.
After the hay was cleared on one end, we created a basketball court.
Minnesota boys playing in the barn enjoying a winter sport.
The weather may be chilling outside but the livestock kept the barn warm.
Inside the lighted basketball hoop; outside a white winter storm.
Grandpa and Grandma arrived before noon to join the celebration.
Aunts and uncles and cousins would come to stay for the day's duration.
Uncle Jack would play basketball with the older girls and boys.
The basketball court up in the barn was filled with joyful noise.
Dad and Grandpa and Uncle Bob would watch the Macy's parade,
While Mom and Lois, Eldora and Grandma prepared a feast homemade.
Pretty soon we would hear the call that it was time to enjoy the feast.
Grandpa would pray thanking the Lord for blessings that had increased.
Then we would eat an incredible meal of turkey, potatoes and gravy,
Yams, green beans and cranberry sauce with flavor tart and savory.
The parents would talk about the pies and decide to serve it later.
All the cousins would go outside to show their skill as skaters.
Home-made ice rinks are easy to make in a cold Minnesota clime.
Ice skates and hockey are a great way to enjoy the winter time.
After some skating the tables were cleared and games set out to play.
Many a fierce Monopoly game took place on Thanksgiving Day.
Some played dominos, the girls played Rummy, and some would read a book,
But my favorite game (and it's not for dummies) is a game called Rook.
Somewhere in the middle of all this wonderful family activity
The moms would serve the various pies, which only enhanced the festivity.
Pie and turkey and left over feast were laid out for the taking.
We would eat and indulge ourselves until our stomach was aching.
Grandpa and Grandma, Mom and Dad, Aunt Lois and Uncle Jack,
Bob and Eldora, Cherrie and Bobbie and Sheila coming last,
Brian and Greg and Bradley Todd, my infant baby brother,
What a blessing to have a family that loves and enjoys each other!
The years have passed and were far apart but our memories are alive.
Each year we recall them affectionately when the holidays arrive.
So here's a greeting to all my kin with love from the depths of my heart.
I remember you warmly with love today even though we're miles apart.
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