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Thanksgiving hasn’t always meant turkeys

Thank you dear readers for all your calls, texts, and suggestions for this column. Sandi Land (Mrs. Calvin) has a wonderful idea about Christmas traditions.

Sometimes before Christmas she would like to share with our readers about the wonderful traditions of the Land family Christmas.

Elizabeth Browning was sharing with me some of her earlier memories of Christmas recently. They did not have turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Turkeys were not known in this area at all. She  said that she was grown before she knew what a turkey was.

I meet some of the most interesting people sometimes while out shopping. I met Ms. Gail Wright at Dollar Tree while both of us were shopping for plastic boxes. She recently moved here to be with her sister in retirement.

Welcome to Panola County, Ms. Gail. It’s wonderful that both of you have health to enjoy one another.

Billy Williams of Cold Springs community is recuperating  from foot surgery after having battled infection quite a while.

Mt. Olivet Methodist Church will its traditional Thanksgiving meal at 6 p.m. on Nov. 17 followed by the proceeds of each person’s Lord’s Acre project.

The Lord’s Acre project was started centuries ago when farmers or ranchers would set aside the proceeds of at least one acre of land, or the equivalent, for the church. It was not possible for farmers to give weekly or even monthly donations to the church, so this was the way for them to give their donations in the fall when the harvest was gathered.

Many donated the proceeds from a hog, a calf, or even a goat.

This program was started in the Mt. Olivet church in the 1960s and 70s as a way to help with the building projects that required extra funding.

My mother-in-law (Miss Dell) shared with me an interesting true story about the Lord’s Acre project that was held in the Black Jack Presbyterian Church  many years ago.

She and Mr. Bob had selected a fine Black Angus steer as their Lord’s Acre project. They kept him penned up, gave him special sweet feed and good alfalfa hay so that he would bring a good price at the cattle auction.

They welcomed all who would come to see him, for apparently he was a fine-looking animal.

When they inquired of a neighbor who had come to admire the Traywick animal as to how his calf was doing that had been set aside for the Lord, he replied, “It died.” End of that project!

Since there will not be the traditional Thanksgiving meal at the National Guard Armory this year, Gail and Jeffrey Bean (the organizers) have asked that church, civic clubs, and individuals step up and see that the needy are not forgotten this year.

People, you do not know the time and energy it takes to undertake a project of this size. The Beans and all of the volunteers are to be commended for the seven plus years that they have undertaken this huge project.

Last Thanksgiving while my family was at  the Ole Miss-State football game, I was going to spend Thanksgiving at home alone. I called Gail and told her that I wanted to volunteer. It was one of the most uplifting things that I have ever done.

Food came  in  from  everywhere. Carol Boren brought in about 24 pecan pies as she did every year  in the past. The  Dream Riders Motorcycle Club delivered meals to the shut-ins all over the county.

I was told that they have done this so long that they knew where all the shut-ins lived without an address or map. The problem with this type of service project, as well as the Cancer Survivors Dinner is that it absolutely wears out the organizers and there are so few who will step up.

According to the  brochure of Panola County churches published by The Panolian a number of years ago, there are over 190 places of worship locally. These are the places that should be  (according to scripture) taking care of widows, homeless, orphans, and  elderly anyway.

Then some individuals would not have to work for months organizing these events until they are absolutely exhausted. If these 190 churches gave $100 each that would be $19,000. If half gave, it would be $9,500.

That would feed a “heap of folks” Ever think of that?

On Nov. 17, I challenge my Mt. Olivet people to pick at least one family to carry a meal to after our Lord’s Acre program.

Do you have a Thanksgiving of Christmas tradition to share? People are waiting to hear. Call Donna at 662-563-1742 or 901-828-8824 (mobile). Texts are good, too.