Holiday was much different than those of yesteryear

Published 1:24 pm Thursday, December 3, 2020

Mt. Olivet News

This was my first Thanksgiving to spend alone that I can remember. The Thanksgivings at the Palmertree house when I was growing up were spent with all the married siblings and their children coming back home early in the day.

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The men would go on a quail hunt while the children played in the yard. My poor mother, Miss Jessie, slaved in the hot kitchen over a wood stove with no air conditioning. Electricity had not yet come to rural Panola County.

I can remember now, as I look back, that it was a labor of love.

As a teenager someone gave me some baby turkeys, and I began to raise them and sell a few at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Not one time did we ever kill and eat one of my pets. Without refrigeration, my mother had to kill a hen Thanksgiving morning, pick the feathers, wash and clean it good, then cook.

We had a rough homemade table that about 10 people could sit at comfortably. Sometimes there were two shifts of us to eat. It never occurred to me as a child to wonder where all that food came from. It was just always there.

When I married into the Traywick family, my mother-in-law, Miss Delle, was noted for her oyster dressing. The people at Black Jack Presbyterian Church always looked forward to her bringing it to the church suppers.

I am sorry that I never knew the recipe. Don’t we always depend on the older generation, without learning to carry on so many of the family traditions?

Now there are only two of the Palmertree siblings left, and my daughter and family from Hernando, and I, usually spend the Sunday after Thanksgiving and also Christmas at my sister’s house in Sledge.

This holiday we were not comfortable with everyone gathering around elbow to elbow at her dining room table to eat. It’s a strange feeling! I hope this is not the new normal. But I did get to catch up on my reading and writing.

With fall comes deer season. It’s something my grandson Alex looks forward to every year. I ran across a letter to the editor that I wrote to The Panolian when Alex was six years old. A lot has happened in the 21 years since then, and Alex has turned into a courteous hunter and a good sportsman. I am sorry to say that the conditions I wrote about in that letter have only gotten worse. Some hunters have too much adrenaline and no respect for the preservation of land, or the rights of other landowners.

Give me a call or a send a text with news or tips for next week, 901-828-8824.