'There are all indications of an early winter,' father said as he entered the old rock house for his breakfast after having attended the morning chores. 'We had a heavy frost last nite and there is a keen wind blowing over the north sublet. 'Yes,' he continued as he washed and prepared himself for the morning meal, 'we are going to have another hard winter.'
Truly it would be a hard winter if we had snow but nature was holding off with her white mantle, at least until after Thanksgiving Day, for the fields lay bare after yielding their harvest which had long since been gathered with the exception of a few shocks of corn and some late celery.
The long summer days with their molten heat were past and no longer could be heard the frogs in the marshes when the evening sun was low. The days were becoming shorter and the sun was rising later each day in the valley among the 'Rockies.'
It was Thanksgiving Day and soon the chores would be all done with and the animals fed an extra liberal allowance in- celebration of the day. The family was to spend the day with Uncle Albert and his family on their farm.
By ten o'clock the horses were hitched to the white topped buggy and our family was all tucked in and we were on our way. The dog barked and jumped around in front of the horses for he was enjoying the day as well. The old yellow cat had whined considerably when mother had locked the door and bade her stay at home and look after things. The poor cat really looked lonesome as we drove away without her.
We drove away with our backs to the rising sun and we were facing the towering mountain that stood majestically west of our small village. A deep canyon was at its base through which a stream of cold water was rippling and wending its way down to the valley below. The frost had melted on the hillside facing the sun and the morning mists were clearing away so we could get a glimpse of the log cabin through the foliage of the trees. This pioneer homestead was at the foot of the high mountain range and distance north of deep canyon.
The ground squirrels had long since gathered their winter store and were comfortably housed up in Mother Earth. The katydids and the locust had long since ceased their twitters on bush or trees and had sought refuge for the winter. The birds had already made their winter migration southward except a few of the more hardy species who would soon be moving along to more sunny climes. Everything was quiet and serene.
Suddenly the quiet was broken as we approached the old homestead by the loud barking of Carlo who was joined by the sharp answer from a black pennyfeist which started an old turkey gobbler and soon the whole barnyard was in a tumult.
Aunt Miriah appeared on the front porch in her neat gingham apron and Uncle Albert was at our service to render his assistance with the horses.
We were all ushered into the log cabin with a good old fashioned hearty welcome and the tantalizing odor from the cooking fowl and baking squash pies intensified our appetites which were already keen from our morning ride.
Soon we were all seated around the abundant table which was heavily laden with wholesome food, even to homemade molasses, home cured ham and an apple dumpling that would surpass the spread for the royal family of England.
All became quiet and a Higher Power was asked to bless the food and heartfelt gratitude was rendered for the bountiful harvest on this Thanks giving Day.