Reports are that we received about an inch of rain this week in Reilly Springs. All of it was appreciated, and when you look out in the pastures, there is actually a little bit of green in them as a result of the added moisture.
"The sad part is that most of the pastures around are empty of cattle," Bryant Fisher said. "Most everyone sold their cattle because of no forage. It's going to take years for the beef cattle business to build back from this drought."
Bryant and Marilee, Blake and Kendra are planning on enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with Ethel Winton on Thursday.
"We've been busy processing deer," Blake Fisher said this week. "Seems like everyone is getting a nice deer. I suppose the deer are moving around good as they look for the fresh new grass from the recent rains."
I talked to Britt Fisher one day this week, and he indicated that they were planning on a big feast over the holidays at the Fred and Ruth Fisher home.
Debra Stribling is hosting a large Thanksgiving dinner for her extended family and was busy cooking this week. "I'm up to my eyeballs in cornbread, sage and onions," Debra said. "But I think I've got all the pies made, and we'll be ready by noon on Thursday."
Jan Lawrence and Abby Kirby, Kobi and Reagan arrived from Muleshoe late Monday night to begin working on Thanksgiving preparations at the new lake house on Lake Quitman. David arrived in time for supper on Tuesday night, and Jacy and Colton were leaving Amarillo when Jacy got finished with school on Tuesday afternoon. The rest of the family was making their way on Tuesday night and Wednesday. All those that had arrived made their way to San Remo’s to enjoy supper together on Tuesday night.
Vera Harrington was planning on a large Thanksgiving with Mitzi, Mary and the girls.
"It is kind of nice not to have to worry about milking cows," Vera said this week. "We might actually get to sit down to Thanksgiving dinner and not have to worry about delivering a calf, treating milk fever or checking on the sick pen for the first time in my daughter's and granddaughters’ lives."
If you can't find something to be thankful for, all you have to do is think about a description of the average rural 1930s home in Hopkins County. I was reading an article this week about the conditions in our area at the beginning of the Great Depression. Home ownership was split about 50/50 with tenant dwellings and most of the homes were made of old, rough "boxing plank" so warped that the cracks had to be stuffed with something to keep the snow and other weather from drifting inside. Heat was provided by a central fireplace that burned record amounts of wood, that had to be cut by the men and boys in the family. Water was hauled inside in a bucket from the well, and the outhouse was the norm, with a path leading out behind the house.
In the 1930s, lighting was provided by coal-oil lamps, and washing was still done on a "rub-board" with the water being heated in a washpot at many dwellings. Clothes were still being pressed with "flat-irons" heated in the fireplace, or on the wood or coal-oil stove. Little or no refrigeration was available and home canning provided much of the food supply, as well as pork raised and cured in the family smokehouse.
Can any of you still remember a "hog killing" about this time of the year, when the weather had turned cold? Can you remember the entire house being full of activity as neighbors and family arrived to kill and process hogs for the family's winter meat? It was common place for everyone to gather and make sausage, render lard, and prepare the hams and bacon for the family meat supply.
How many of you can still remember spending Thanksgiving afternoon out in the woods looking for a Christmas tree? You couldn't cut it for at least another two or three weeks, but part of the fun was selecting the tree, and the anticipation of having it brought to the house from the pasture just before Christmas. Of course, by Thanksgiving, the Sears and Roebuck Christmas catalogue had already arrived, and you and your cousins spent ample hours poring over the things you hoped that Santa Claus would be bringing you come Christmas morn.
I did hear something that did sound a little bit familiar this week, although it has been "modified" for more modern times. Kobi, Abby's 5-year-old, was "whining" on Tuesday morning and Abby told her that "Ma-Ma (my mother)" ate dinner at the Senior Citizen's Center with Mrs. Claus, and that if she whined during the day, Ma-Ma would tell Mrs. Claus, and she'd make sure that it got put on "the list." Kobi was a perfect little angel all day long, and didn't whine one time. Abby called it "creative parenting." I told Abby that she was only paying for her raising because she used to whine just like Kobi, when she was that age.
Until next week this wishing each of you a happy, happy, Thanksgiving.
Remember our troops who defend our freedoms and protect us all, so we can celebrate. Ask for them an extra blessing of safety and for a safe trip home. Pray for love in our hearts, harmony in our community and peace in our land. God bless Reilly Springs, Hopkins County and America.
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