Turkey illustration from 19th C livestock book.
Turkey illustration from 19th C livestock book.

Mother was speaking about Thanksgiving last night.  I heard her telling Father to be sure and get the hardest wood near the kitchen.  I know the women in the kitchen use the soft wood that the boys cut up for kindling.  That is how they start the fire.  Then they use hard wood to keep the fire going after it gets really hot.  Sometimes they singe the hem of their work dresses if they stand too close to the hearth.  There must be a lot of baking for Thanksgiving.  I do not remember last year.  I was too little.

I like it when they use the apple wood and cherry wood. Sometimes we have old pear wood.  They all make the house smell good.  They are hard woods, I think.  Mother likes to burn cedar, when we have some,  because she says it smells the best. I like to hear their voices being busy and all together.  The voices go around and around and make me feel good.  Brent and Josh and I put our arms out to the side and spun around in circles in the downstairs hallway. Mother saw me and said “Mary, what are you doing?  Come and help.”  I don’t think she saw Josh and Brent.

Father was in a rush.  He told me he would tell me about Thanksgiving when he came back later in the day.  I think everyone is excited and happy to be planning all this.  It must be about something very special.  Now Mother is speaking about sorting out the table clothes.  She said they were all put away clean and mended.  I will sit at a side table.  I don’t know where Josh and Brent will sit.  I hope we can be together.

by Mary Beekman

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