News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News


November 22, 2012

RONN MOTT: Thanksgiving

The old song goes, “Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go.” But I, as a small child, did not have to cross the river. My grandparents lived about 17 miles from where I lived and I didn’t have to cross the Wabash to get there. Like most Thanksgivings, the center of the attention was on the food. And it was always delicious.

At the Mott farm, we ate what they grew. Thanksgiving was not much different. We had pork, which had been butchered the autumn months ahead of Thanksgiving, chicken, guinea, and sometimes a turkey. There were mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, and creamed corn. Both cream and brown gravies were available to those who wanted a choice. Also, we had cranberries that were purchased at the store, candied apples, and boiled cabbage. The pies came from their fruit trees and they were generally from home-canned peaches, apples, and cherries. And  someone would usually bring a persimmon pudding. It was all very sweet and tasty. If you were any kind of a Hoosier, you would have felt right at home.

Grandma would often have me give the blessing. That had started early on because I was a gabby kid. She had hopes of me becoming a minister, but a microphone got in the way of the pulpit.

After dinner, the women would retire to the kitchen to clean up what was not eaten at the first sitting, and those who had to leave always got plates full to carry home. In the afternoon, the men talked of politics of the day and I would listen but was still too young to join in their conversations.

My Aunt Etha would measure me and my younger brother and we would know we were getting something to wear for Christmas. Aunt Etha was a pack-rat. She saved about everything. She even made baskets out of bread wrappers and then cut up egg shell cartons of various colors to make flowers that went in the baskets. She was a wonderful person to be around. She did not have any children of her own, but dearly loved her nieces and nephews. She doted on all of us.

In the evening we would retire to my Mother’s family where we would exchange names for Christmas giving and sample the many desserts that had been collected there. It was a grand time, and it was a time before families were scattered to the wind and we could all get together by driving less than an hour to a gathering point.

My daughter, who lives in Canada, misses Thanksgiving more than any other holiday because of these reasons. As she was growing up, we worked very hard to keep the traditions alive.

I will spend this Thanksgiving with family here, give thanks for the day, and stuff myself in the good old American way.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Four Rescued From Crashed Plane House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010