The only time Granny Woodrum used her dining room table was Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving meant we had been promoted from the kitchen table to the dining room. The table is covered with a white linen table cloth with a lace trim. The good china and the glasses on a stem are all sitting and just waiting for the guest to arrive.
You walk up the pitted out concrete steps and as you walk in the front door the smell of turkey greets you. The menu will consist of turkey, dressing with oysters, cranberries, mashed potatoes, yams with brown sugar glaze, home canned green beans, cold slaw that only granny could master, iced tea, pumpkin pies made from scratch, pecan pie, mince meat pie (for my dad), lemon cheese cake and angle food cake. This was the menu every year for many years.
Aunt Blanche and Uncle Wattie would usually come to eat with our family. They always seemed to be a notch above everyone else. Aunt Blanche always talked like she was from New York and she had never been out of Lincoln County. She was very fashionable and always had jewelry that jingled and jangled. Uncle Wattie was always wore pants with a deep crease and a dress shirt that was without a wrinkle. He had a gold tooth in front and I always wondered where he bought it.
My dad tolerated Aunt Blanche. She was notorious for using God’s name in vain and my dad didn’t like it. It was just My G……this and My G…..that. Using God’s name in vain was a BIG NO NO for everyone except Aunt Blanche.
Grandpa Woodrum got to sit in the chair with arms on it. He would offer grace or ask one of the other men to pray. Back then, the women had to listen and weren’t ask to pray. After the prayer, everyone was ready to dig in and share the meal. Oh, oh, I can almost taste the dressing and it is 60 years later.
After dinner the men would go to the living room to talk about whatever men talk about. The women would usually linger at the table with a cup of coffee and just laugh and chat. Granny smoked and she would usually light a cigarette at the end of the meal. I was just a little girl and I loved to sit and listen to all the women talk. Sometimes they would sort of cover their mouth and whisper and I would get so mad. I think they were telling about someone being pregnant and you just didn’t talk “out loud” about that sort of thing.
These were precious Thanksgiving memories with family who have already lived all of their lives. Of the people who ate at this table only me, my sister and a few cousins remain. Life is precious. Live it and love it.