posted in: Family 7
Women getting ready to serve the barbeque dinner at the Pie Town, New Mexico Fair, c. 1940. Image: Wikipedia.


We had a good Thanksgiving Day here in Iowa.

It started this morning. Each Thanksgiving, my family helps prepare the free holiday meal at the Methodist Church. We’ve done this for a few years, now, and I love it. It feels good to be around other people, it feels good to help those less fortunate, it feels good to work in a kitchen. (I know my way around one, remember?)

This big holiday meal, which includes all the staples (i.e., turkey, pie, cran sauce, etc.), is served at noon in the basement of the church. But the food is also available for delivery for those who are homebound for medical reasons or who can’t drive for one reason or another. With the exception of Jack, who often helps with the gravy in the kitchen ā€” and my step-dad, Mark, who makes the deviled eggs, grody ā€” my family is usually put on delivery meals. We post up in the back room and get our little assembly line going: pie, roll, broccoli salad, cran sauce, egg, close the box. Stack. Repeat dozens and dozens of times.

Last year, I was on baked apple duty and even though it was a very sticky job, scooping all those hundreds of baked apples into cupcake foils, I secretly loved it. I really perfected my wrist maneuver by the end of the shift, made sure the cups didn’t squish and each apple had a good amount of sauce. The church organizers didn’t put baked apples on the menu this year, but I’d like to think I did a pretty good job with the rolls. I go with the flow.

My sister Rebecca and my cousin Greg and I went out to deliver some meals as it got closer to noon. The doors we knocked on were shabby, worn. One lady opened the door and frightened us: She had some serious sores all over her face and arms, and the apartment absolutely reeked of cigarette smoke. But she was so nice.

“Happy Thanksgiving!” we said to her, and she said, “Happy Thanksgiving!”

We went to another house where a lady sat watching TV all alone. A large doll had been placed on a chair in her living room, facing the TV, with a tea set spread out next to her. Yeah, it was spooky. It was also sad. Everyone needs friends.

Last year, there were more meals to box and more deliveries to make. I’m not sure why this year was lighter. But even if one hungry person was fed today by that church, I reckon that’s a victory for humanity, and I was glad to be there for it.

After our time with the meal, we came back home to get our own underway. My brother-in-law Jack outdid himself with the turkey this year; that is high praise, indeed.

We did the whole “go around the dinner table and say what you’re grateful for” thing.

When it got to me, I didn’t know where to start.

7 Responses

  1. Elizabeth Fannin
    | Reply

    Happy Thanksgiving, Mary. It sounds like you had a blessed day surrounded by those who love you. I read your blog regularly, just to keep p with you. Thanks for sharing. I miss you on Love of Quilting. I thought you were magical, especially with your Mom. Stay well this season and God bless you.

    • Marianne Fons
      | Reply

      Hello Elizabeth, Marianne Fons, Mary’s mom, here. Mary would reply the same info to you, but I thought I’d step in, since I just read Mary’s post about our beautiful Thanksgiving. Mary and I are now doing episodes of “Love of Quilting” together, several in each series of 13, so keep watching, and you’ll soon see our smiling faces. We will do our best to be magical!

  2. Ann Bailey
    | Reply

    I’m thankful for you, Mary.

  3. Susan stogdill
    | Reply

    Iā€™m thankful for you and your thoughts you put into writing.

  4. Barbara
    | Reply

    I am thankful for you. You not only fed those who were hungry on Thanksgiving, but you feed many of us in other ways. You feed us by writing your blog, shared with us on Love of Quilting, gave us and continue to give us encouragement to try new things. We’ve learned to appreciate the beauty of quilts, the value of sharing time and talents even if things don’t turn out perfectly whether it be in sewing or writing or relationships. You touch and enrich many lives and you will probably never know how often you brought comfort or joy or encouragement. I am thankful for you.

  5. Colleen Sain
    | Reply

    Happy Thanksgiving Mary!

  6. Brenda King
    | Reply

    I’m glad to hear you had such a wonderful Thanksgiving, Mary! You give so much to all of us. I’m so glad to get to know you better! Take good care, and keep up your wonderful work! : )

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