‘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
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
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.