My two sisters and I were excited about the first Thanksgiving at our own home after spending 4 years in a nearby orphanage following our mother’s death. We had a fire going in the fireplace in the log cabin and elder Sister Wilma was busy preparing dinner and shouting orders for us to help.
We couldn’t afford a turkey but the fattest chicken in the barnyard and a smoked ham , sweet potatoes , green beans, corn and fluffy buttermilk biscuits made a “gracious ” plenty as we say in the deep South.
As we gathered to eat the bounty of the earth my father had worked so hard to produce on that red Alabama clay, we gave thanks that we had a roof over our head and food on the table. We prayed for our brother Cecil , a soldier in the Korean war , and asked God to return him safely to us.
We were but poor farmers and that others in our town had much more material wealth than us but we felt rich with the simple blessings of good health, food and faith in God and family.
I think of that Thanksgiving long ago as I gather with my own children and family. There’s a big fat turkey with all the trimmings but nothing will ever taste as good to me as that simple meal at our first Thanksgiving together as a family on that hilltop cabin in rural Alabama.