Saturday essay: Prelude to thanks |

Saturday essay: Prelude to thanks

It wasn’t quite over the river and through the wood to grandfather’s house we went in the 1960s. It was more like over the hills and through the dales of Colerain Pike, then hanging a right onto Vine Street to Pop and Granny’s house in Martins Ferry, Ohio.

But anticipating our arrival at the modest home of our paternal grandparents on late Thanksgiving morning was every bit worthy of the Lydia Maria Child poem later set to music (but seldom heard these days).

En route in the ’63 Ford Falcon sleigh, brother Shannon and I would debate whether stretching our stomachs with food or fasting the day before would allow us to eat more.

Upon arrival, the loud refrains of the closing moments of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade could be heard rattling through the living room windows; those same rattles soon would deliver a football game to the neighborhood.

Then, the moment of moments arrived: The front door would open and that instantly intoxicating first wave of a slow-roasted turkey, just carved on the stove top, would waft over us. Surely it called us by name, beckoning little boys to sample pieces of crisp skin, moist turkey and melt-in-our-mouths stuffing.

But in short order, we were shooed away: it was time for Granny to hand-whip the potatoes. The flapping underside of her arm as she did so was the stuff of legend; keeping a safe distance was wise to avoid injury.

Alas, Thanksgiving dinner was anti-climactic. For the prelude to thanks was more than three-quarters the fun.

— Colin McNickle

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.