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Giving Thanks

November 24, 2015
by Jane Whitmore , Emmetsburg News

This time of year there are numerous articles and columns written about Thanksgiving and giving thanks. We have so much for which we are thankful, and we should express those thoughts every day.

Rural Iowa is a special place to live and play and raise a family. We have wide open spaces, we have beautiful lakes, we have friends and family all around.

Our small towns are the very best because they are filled with caring people who look out for one another. Sometimes it's like having an extended family.

We all appreciate our families especially during the holidays. This year our Gearhart family is gathering in West Bend over Thanksgiving weekend. The cousins plan a 5K Gobble Wobble and a Cribbage Tournament.

All of the Gearhart cousins have stories about playing cribbage. And most of us remember Grandma Gearhart as a ruthless player. She taught many of us the game and pegged points that we didn't catch. That definitely made us more astute players.

My favorite recollection of cribbage: My father and grandmother played cribbage every night during the winter. If I came home late, Grandma would always make the best play of the night and distract my dad from looking at the clock. She was my best asset.

For the Gearhart Cribbage Tournament, everyone has been asked to bring their favorite cribbage board. I cannot find my dad's board anywhere but it was just a standard wooden board. Some of our cousins have pretty unique boards: one shaped like a pig; another is a semi truck with the flatbed as the cribbage board; and yet another was made from the wood of a tree that fell in a storm. I remember my uncles having deer antler cribbage boards and wonder if anyone has kept one of those. Another cousin has yellowed pages of the rules from when she learned. Unfortunately, the Gearhart Cribbage Tournament will be going on while we are hosting Breakfast With Santa at the Pizza Ranch.

We're all bringing food to share for Thanksgiving kind of like the Pilgrims. My immediate family is probably most thankful that I don't cook. But I can bake bread (using frozen dough, of course). Perhaps I'll bake a bread dough turkey for the crew. That has always been successful for our small family gatherings. I know I won't be in charge of the gravy!

The cousins are coming from several states: Minnesota, Arizona, Colorado and Texas for sure. Most everyone grew up in Iowa or Minnesota, so we're all acclimated to the cold and snow. Let's hope for mild weather for those who have to travel a distance to get to West Bend for the weekend.

Here's hoping all of you have a great weekend. Don't forget Small Business Saturday. It's your opportunity to Look Local First. And stop by the Pizza Ranch to say "hi" to Santa. Then keep in touch with all of the community holiday events. The Lighted Parade and Home For the Holidays is right around the corner.

 
 
 

 

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