The Day of Thanksgiving approaches. Not a religious holiday, it is a uniquely American holiday. The first Thanksgiving, according to legend, was a celebration after the Pilgrims’ first harvest. Farming was different on this untamed continent and they had been lent assistance in the planting and maintaining of their crops by the Native Americans around them. At the original feast there were more Native Americans in attendance than Pilgrims. Apparently, they had not yet learned to fear one another.
As we know, the peace did not last but the tradition of a celebratory harvest meal with friends and family has been passed from generation to generation, spawning new customs as the times changed. When I was a military wife and usually somewhere that made the trip to my parent’s house impossible, we opened our door to whoever wanted to come. I never knew how many would be there and only had a hint about who it would be. Young men and women who were away from home as we were, new friends we had made in our new home base, sometimes strangers who had never celebrated Thanksgiving.
Whoever it was came with gratitude and an appetite. It was always turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, giblet gravy, pumpkin pie and buttermilk pie. Extra side dishes varied, but the basics were the same. I don’t believe I ever cleaned up after a thanksgiving meal we hosted. Over my protests, I was ushered into the living room with coffee and pie and the Army furnished cleanup to show their gratitude for the little feeling of home. Those are good memories.
Other memories include seeing family members that I had not seen in a long time or quieter more intimate celebrations with the smaller family group or friends that are sometimes closer than the family we are born into. Whatever Thanksgiving means for you I hope there is a feeling of inclusion to go with your gratitude. There are few feelings any better than sharing your blessing with others less blessed.
There was a lot going on in Rector the past few days. In addition to the school basket ball games, we had the annual Craft Fair at the Community Center on Saturday. Many of the vendors from past fairs returned and we had some new vendors as well. A beautiful sunny day brought out the shoppers, so everyone seemed happy and the door prizes were well received.
Sunday the Community Center was the place for a huge community meal. This was a joint effort by the local churches. They provided a free meal and a short worship service for over 200 community members. A good way to get to know your neighbors and have a good meal too, a great way to start off the holiday season with good will.
Afterward Honeysuckle and Home had an open house to show off their wares and start off the Christmas shopping. What a great shop that is, filled with wonderful smells and treasures. Don’t be shy. You can stop in any time to get the same feeling of good will.
There is plenty to look forward to in December as well. The Rector Community Museum now officially opened at 310 Main Street is planning a “Night at the Museum” affair on Saturday, December 8, 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm. Santa and Mrs. Clause will be available for photos and wish lists. There will be cookies, coloring pages, and ornaments to make. There will be a silent auction for some decorated Christmas trees on which you can place bids and you can purchase the first in a series of Rector themed Christmas ornaments. You can place additional bids on the Christmas trees when the museum is open before the parade on Thursday, and on December 15 from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. Sounds like this could be an annual event, so come on out and enjoy the museum.
Thursday, December 13 is the Christmas Parade. Do you have an idea for a float? There will be refreshments at the Community Center afterwards and of course, Santa is invited. The museum will be open before the parade from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
What else is going on that you would like to see in this column. Give me a heads up and I will share it with everyone else. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Phone number (870) 595-4997. Check out your Rector, Arkansas website: www.rectorarkansas.com from time to time. I love to be told I need to update it and I take all suggestions to heart. Take a look.
Goodbye for now. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.