On this Thanksgiving eve, please help me welcome my friend Betty Bolté back to Preternatura. Betty’s latest book is Hometown Heroines: True Stories of Bravery, Daring, and Adventure, a collection of historical fiction tales based on the lives of 19 girls living in the 1800s in America. These stories were inspired by the fact that each of these girls have a landmark dedicated to them in America as a result of their efforts.
Betty lives on a farm in Tennessee with her husband, three cats, and two dogs, and tons of books. She is also the author of several nonfiction books.. In the works is a contemporary paranormal romantic women’s fiction novel set in a haunted plantation home in Tennessee. By day, she works as a consulting technical editor supporting NASA’s Space Launch System Program. You can learn more about her at her website, on Facebook, on Goodreads or follow her on Twitter (@BettyBolte) or Pinterest. Betty’s also a member of my local (Birmingham) RWA chapter, so give her a warm welcome! (She also has a very cool giveaway!)
And now let’s hear from Bettty…
Ghosts of Thanksgivings Past
by Betty Bolté
As the holidays speed toward me, I find myself remembering family dinners over the decades, and how they have changed. When I was a kid, I lived near a lot of my mother’s side of the family. Thus Thanksgiving was always a grand affair, shared with my grandmother, my parents and siblings, as well as aunts, uncles, and cousins. Each family contributed a dish or two and brought it to whoever’s house hosting the dinner. We enjoyed our traditional meal of roast turkey, gravy, dressing, homemade mashed potatoes, candied yams, oyster dressing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and a variety of cakes and fruit pies. Additionally, there was always music, and laughter, sometimes games.
After I married, my husband and I would visit either his or my family for an early dinner, then the other family for dinner. This led to a lot of driving for us, since our families were centered 50 miles apart at the time. It also meant a lot of eating and a huge variety of great, tempting foods!
We continued to do that until we moved to Indiana, after my mom died and my father moved in with us. By then, we had two children and the holidays were a magic time, as seen through their eyes. I made sure we did arts and crafts projects to celebrate Thanksgiving, and continued to prepare most of the traditional turkey dinner. Of course, I made smaller quantities since there was only five of us for dinner most years. But we played games and pulled out the folding table to do jigsaw puzzles on for the next few weeks.
Now we live in Tennessee and our children are grown with jobs and homes of their own, and our daughter is not able to come home for Thanksgiving due to work obligations. So I’ve invited a friend and her foreign exchange student(s) to join me and my hubby, our son, and my father-in-law for dinner. We’ll see how many people we’ll actually have, but at most there will be seven and more likely only four. A far cry from the huge events of Thanksgivings past. Nonetheless, there will be roast turkey and mashed potatoes and all the rest. We’ll have plenty of leftovers, that’s for sure!
Of course, the day is not about how many people and how much we eat, but about being thankful for having food on the table and family to share it with. It’s about giving thanks for the good things in our lives. This year, I’m thankful for my family, my friends, my career as a writer, and for all my readers. Additionally, I’m thankful that my father-in-law is recovering as expected from heart surgery, even though it’s a slower road to normal than he’d prefer.
How has Thanksgiving changed for you? What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?
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Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and opinions!
Betty is generously giving away a set of heart-shaped measuring spoons to one lucky commenter here. I think these are so cool!
Leave a comment telling how Thanksgiving has changed for you, what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving or even a favorite Thanksgiving memory to be entered for your chance to win. I’m thankful I have a few days away from my day job, even though I do have to work an epic football game on Saturday (my #1-ranked alma mater versus my #4-ranked employer…yikes!). Life is good, and I should have an announcement concerning a little story called “Chenoire” on Wednesday!