A full attic is beautiful.
The old books and journals, love letter courtships, chocolate cake recipes, antique photographs, and all other things that dwell in families through generations, are, in many ways, what hold families together.
During the holiday season these long standing things manifest themselves as the traditions that we uphold throughout the years.
For Mary Pratt, the traditions begin once the meal is over.
“After everyone is fat and happy, guests at the table share their joy and hopes for the future and what they are grateful for,” says Mary.
As the conversation is passed around the table, the reflections range from the abstract, to the concrete, to the practical.
For Suzanne, Thanksgiving is “simple but old-fashioned.” She spends the holiday with her sister and husband and cook and bake in her kitchen.
“It’s turkey, sage dressing stuffed in the bird, garlic mashed potatoes, maybe steamed Brussel sprouts, acorn or butternut squash, pumpkin pie with a dollop of frozen yogurt,” says Suzanne.
After the meal, they watch old movies – from the heartwarming Mrs. Miniver and Random Harvest to the sidesplitting, The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming, Operation Petticoat, and Ghost Busters.
“We laugh, reminisce, eat well and enjoy each other’s company. We’ll do a repeat at Christmas,” she says.
While Sharon France and her family celebrate Thanksgiving with a traditional turkey dinner, they take also take an alternative approach to the turkey tradition. They keep them as pets.
“We raised a few rare heritage turkeys here on our old farmstead for about 9 years. They were not intended to eat, we instead kept them as farm pets.”
Sharon France’s Mottled Black turkeys
After purchasing fertile eggs and an incubator and checking countlessly on temperature controls, Sharon France hatched her own “Mottled Black” turkeys – “a beautiful and gentle breed.”
“One day I looked into the window on top of the incubator to see several little turkey chicks looking up at me! What fun! They bonded with us and when we would let them out of their pen, they would follow us around, much like a pet dog will.”
Furthering the likeness to dogs, Sharon describes that they even bark like a dog, or a seal.
“We found that turkeys can make great pets for us folks living in a country location,” says Sharon.