People Editor 

Thankful for memories


November 22, 2017

Each year, around this time, it’s customary for one to feel the need to profess what they are thankful for.

Yes. It’s Thanksgiving.

For me, I am not only thankful for my faith, family and friends, but for my memories.

Growing up on a small, Minnesota dairy farm, I knew what hard work was. I also knew just how special it was to actually have a day or two off from the job.

Once every other year, our family would hire someone to take care of the farm while we traveled to the big city of Shakopee to visit my Uncle Mark and Aunt Linda.

It was great. We could sleep in. Play Super Mario Brothers on the Nintendo for hours and basically get spoiled by my aunt and uncle. Just thinking of this, sends me back to the Super Mario Brothers song. I would play the game half of the night and then be overly tired the next day.

I really don’t even remember the food because I was enjoying the trip and the company. I’m sure whatever was made was amazing. I was lucky to grow up in a family where everyone seemed to not only know how to cook, but it was cooked well.

When we couldn’t make it to my Uncle Mark’s house, they would come to us. This is when I remember the food. Probably, because I helped my mom make it. We would make homemade bread ahead of time so we could put it in the oven after the turkey was done. We also made homemade cherry, apple and pumpkin pie. Of course, there was all sorts of other dishes guests would bring. Thanksgiving dinner would quickly turn into an all-you-can-eat buffet; and it was glorious.

After we’d eat, the kids would gather in the dinning room and play board games, while the adults would gather in the living room and watch football.

One year, it was our turn to go to Uncle Mark’s house. We were all set to go when the phone rang. It was the guy who was going to be watching the farm for us while we were gone. He couldn’t watch the farm after all. My dad saw the look of disappointment on everyone’s faces and suggested the rest of the family go without him. My mom didn’t think that was too good of an idea.

Long story, made short, I stayed home with my dad. The rest of the family went to Uncle Mark’s house. However, after they left, I vowed to make the whole Thanksgiving meal myself. I asked my dad to drive me to town so I could do some grocery shopping. I didn’t tell him what I was buying because I wanted it to be a surprise.

On Thanksgiving day, before I met dad down in the barn to feed and milk the cows. I prepped the small turkey I had bought and put it into the oven. I just did what my mom always did and hoped for the best.

After we were done with our choirs, I went back to the house to warm up and check on the turkey. It was looking good. So I proceeded to make the dressing, cranberries and mashed potatoes and gravy. I had even gone down to the freezer and found some of mom’s homemade bread. I grabbed four slices and put them in the oven. Around noon, my dad made it back to the house. He was just in time to see the whole dinner spread on the table. He couldn’t believe his eyes.

We both sat down and had a great Thanksgiving meal. I don’t even think I made a dessert, but dad didn’t seem to mind. I believe he had seconds on almost everything.

It might have been just the two of us that year, but it’s something we both still remember and bring up. My dad especially will say “Do you remember that year Stephanie made the whole meal herself? She was probably still in junior high.”

Then, the family gets going on story telling and we listen to the same funny stories for hours.


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