Thursday, April 24th, 2014

It Takes A Village: Spending my childhood Thanksgivings with family

By Tara Figurski
Staff Writer

Thanksgiving always meant being surrounded by at least 30 people in the Coshocton countryside. My Aunt Hazel and Uncle Bob owned a modest two-story, three-bedroom home but lived on acres and acres of property.

There would be a big turkey in the oven, homemade noodles and mashed potatoes simmering on the stovetop. The dinner table was filled end-to-end with delicious edibles. The desserts overflowed to the kitchen counters, including my grammy’s famous raspberry supreme.

My grandmother had four sisters, who brought their children and grandchildren every year. There were so many guests, people ended up with seats on the staircase.

There was something magical about being surrounded by all of my cousins. We would play in bales of hay in the barn or hike the woods for buried treasure. There was plenty of drama with so many cousins running around.

The trip to the countryside proved interesting. My mom was hardly wrong about anything. We were on the way to Aunt Hazel’s house arguing about the sound a goat makes. My mother emphatically stated “Goats don’t baaaaa.” At that moment we passed a goat that looked at my mom and went “baaaaaa.” You can imagine the laughter.

This is a time to appreciate your blessings. This year I’m thankful for so many special Thanksgiving celebrations as a child. I’m also thankful for social media, which connected me to family I would only see once a year.

I learned my cousin-in-law was accepted into nursing school. When my great-uncle Sonny recently died my cousins released balloons with special messages. I was able to view their tribute even though I missed his funeral.

I encourage my children to stop and count their blessings. Our Thanksgiving celebrations changed over the years, but we developed new traditions with my husband’s family like putting up her Christmas tree and electric train.

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