This is the week that we gear up for family, food, travel, TV specials, and the like.
I love Thanksgiving. I was so excited when the weather turned, the ugly Mosquitos were driven off, and I got to put on a sweater! My prayers were heard.
As a little girl in Ohio, I always loved the little song “over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house we go”. Although we lived in the suburbs outside of Cleveland. We did have to cross the Black river, and my Grandma lived on a street that accessed Cascade park that had lots of trees, so that had to apply to the song somehow, right?
My grandma left home as a girl with her sister Crystal from Sutton, WV to work in a rich family’s house. My Grandma was 15 my Aunt Crystal was 17. Aunt Crystal worked upstairs with the children…which might explain why she never had any. My Grandma worked in the kitchen, which made her a fabulous cook. I can still smell the aroma of the green beans, and the absolute bliss of the tangible fragrance of my grandma’s yeast rolls. She would put together her rolls over two days. Her technique for creating the rolls was all by feel. She would let the dough rise in the fridge over night. These beautiful clover leaf rolls were a vision to behold, melt in your mouth, and the perfect bread for our Thanksgiving feast. Thanksgiving was always awesome at my Grandma J’s house.
I certainly don’t have the hardships to write a story like “The Help”, but I heard the stories of the adversity, the challenge, the poverty that my Grandparents went through. I stand in awe and I’m so grateful that they never gave up. Their creativity and perseverance inspires me.
They never settled for less than their dreams. My Grandpa learned airplane maintenance in WWII, moved his family out of the coal mine camps in WV, to Cleveland to work at Ford in the early 50’s. He built his own airplane, and saw it fly. He built it in the basement of their house. It was so cool to go to the basement to see what was going on with the airplane. It was a bi-wing, single engine, prop. He used a Volkswagon engine, and painted it yellow. He was so excited to see it fly! When he retired he played his music, and traveled. He played the guitar, banjo, violin, mandolin, piano, and trumpet. My Grandma was able to stay at home and raise her 4 children. She quilted, played golf, walked every day, cooked, gardened, traveled with Grandpa, and participated in all of her grand children’s lives.
I believe that I am living a good life, have goals, passions, and talent because of what I learned from my Grandparents. I’ve only mentioned one set at this point. But brevity is the soul of wit.
This is the week for giving thanks. I don’t know that I would have any sense of family, or tenacity without my Grandma and Grandpa Jackson. Grandma is 97 this year, and stopped making Thanksgiving dinner just 2 years ago…she’s an amazing woman.
I’m so thankful for so much, and I will take this week to express it.