Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

November 27, 2010

Remembering Thanksgiving

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Many families have Thanksgiving traditions.  You may be such a family and you knew the day after Thanksgiving last year what were your plans for this Thanksgiving.

Traditions are good and an important part of building memories.  I have reflected on the early days of my life and what Thanksgiving was like for our family.  I don’t know that I would call it a tradition as much as “just what we expected to do.”

I do know that we got up early on Thanksgiving.  The reason I remember was that my dad and I would always go hunting.  It was serious hunting, but not too serious!  The reason I say “not too serious” was that it was not a planned hunting expedition where we might be gone several days . . . or even all day.  It was just for a few hours and so we did not travel very far.  The excursion might be in the woods behind us, or on my grandparents’ land, or on the land of some friend or neighbor.

We rarely ever were successful.  After all, my BB gun wasn’t really designed for such hunting.  But I do recall feeling some power as I walked through tall grass, just waiting for something — bird, rabbit, or a squirrel that might be in the tree.  When I had enough stature to properly hold that old 12 gauge shotgun of my Dad’s, he would let me shoot it a few times at some man-made target.  I know I delighted in shooting it, but would close my eyes because of the “kick” and then my shoulder would hurt for a day or so.  It was a feeling of empowerment, however,  when I finally was able to carry a .22 rifle.  Oh, was I the big game hunter!  Shortly after that first Thanksgiving morning hunt with the rifle, I was allowed to “hunt” on my own.  And that I did . . . along with my companion, Pug!  You perhaps have read about that in an earlier blog. www.lawsonjolly.com/2010/01/05.

But why such a short hunting trip without any real objective?  It was more of just an outing in the woods for a few hours.  The reason for the hunting trip?  It was just a special time for my dad and me to be together doing a manly thing!  We fished often together, but his serious hunting was with the adult men!  But these Thanksgiving mornings were something that I anticipated and looked forward to.  I believe I learned more about gun safety and responsibility on those mornings that at any other time.  That was probably my dad’s intent.

But there was another very important reason why the hunting trip was only a few hours!  Thanksgiving dinner would be served at my grandparents!  We needed to be back to go with my mother and sister to Thanksgiving dinner at the Jollys!

It was a big, big meal.  Their cook had labored for days . . . and all the family would come!  It was not one of those mid-afternoon meals.  It was at noon!  We needed to be through with the meal so that my dad and I could do something that afternoon.  There were no football games on television since it was before the days of television.  But football was part of the Thanksgiving tradition!  On Thanksgiving afternoon there was a football game at Georgia Tech.  It was a game between the freshman football teams from Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia.

By the time the day was over, I can remember being exhausted!  But you know, I look back and wonder what the ladies in the family did all that day.  I realize except for Thanksgiving dinner, my dad and I left them at home!  I don’t think I will inquire of my sister — she might remember and has just been waiting to let me know!!!

I trust you have built some memories.  One day, you will enjoy recalling them!

Lawson

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