“The oak trees were alive with color in the midst of the evergreens. Bright red and yellow leaves catching the sunlight as Daddy and I walked through the brush. The smell of the pines was fresh and all around us. We didn’t speak, but this was when I felt most connected to my father. Nature was a bond that united us and the gift that he gave me. And not just in those East Texas woods. He envisioned the whole earth as my territory and set me on my path to discovery. In 1958, this was remarkable in a girl’s father…
To this day, Thanksgiving remains my favorite holiday. It seems less commercial than the others and struggles to hold its own before the onslaught of merchandising that we call Christmas. The dinners in the fancy restaurants and hotels and cafeterias never measure up to the feasts my grandmothers served their families.
Perhaps, though, it is the love and closeness of those family ties that leave the sights and sounds that last a lifetime.”
This excerpt from the chapter Thanksgiving in the Piney Woods is from my first book Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing. I was so surprised when the book received a 2008 GCLS Literary Award – and thrilled, too.
my family on my grandparents’ front steps circa 1956
(I am seated on the bottom row in my flannel shirt and corduroy pants,
unsmiling, at my mother’s request for some strange reason)
Today is a different Thanksgiving in a different home in a different state in a different century, but I still believe in the love and closeness of family ties that bring the sights and sounds that last a lifetime. I know they have in my lifetime.
And now for Thanksgiving in 2019 we are beyond Thunder Dome thankful for the new family member we love to hold and hope she looks our way with smiles. Pretty is beside herself with our granddaughter Ella Elisabeth James, and so am I.
Ella loves her NanaT
Pretty and I wish all of you in cyberspace that love and closeness on this special day for thanksgiving.