How He Spent His Thanksgiving

By Joe Darby

Well, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Yes, I realize that greeting is exactly one week too late.

But I wanted to write about Conna Cloutier’s memorial service last week, so I’m talking about Turkey Day this week, if you’ll beg my pardon. I’d like to tell you about our Thanksgiving, which was probably somewhat like a lot of yours, but perhaps still worth sharing.

We drove down to Jackson, La., about 30 miles north of Baton Rouge, to be with family. My niece Bonnie runs the Old Centenary Inn there and it was the center of our activities. However, she had a full-up guest list so we had to find other accommodations. There was literally no room at the inn.

Our part in the Thursday celebration was to bring a nice desert. I bought a very nice tray of cheese cake, of all different types. Looked quite yummy. But about two thirds on the way there, we realized we forgot it. The tray was still in our fridge back home!

But we were lucky to come upon a Piggly Wiggly store in one of the little towns hugging the Mississippi River north of New Roads. So we went in and bought a nice chocolate cake and a lemon pie. We were Thankful for little super markets in small towns.

When we got to the Jackson area we checked into our alternate accommodations, quite a nice place really. We went on to the inn and had a lovely pre-Thanksgiving supper with part of the family. More would show up the next day, of course.

When we got back to our rooms we discovered a fine white powder covering a small table in the suite’s living room. I’m not really paranoid (I promise) but my first crazy thought was, could this be anthrax, laid out by a lone mad terrorist? Well of course it wasn’t. We later learned the suite had just been renovated and the powder was doubtless sheetrock dust blown out of the heating vent. We were Thankful for the absence of lone mad terrorists at our temporary home.

The next day’s meal, the traditional one of turkey and dressing, was simply delicious, as it always is. Bonnie, her sister Debbie and husband Chuck deserve A+ in preparing that meal. The company was great too, with the presence of many third generation youngsters, mostly young ladies, descended from my late sister Patsy and her husband Charley. Charley, by the way, is 91 and still pretty darned spry. We were Thankful for sweet relatives and spry old men.

My daughter Becky is a supervisory nurse in the New Orleans area and was not in Jackson but she called, of course, and informed me she had gotten the results of a DNA genealogy test. She’s mostly English, then Scots and Irish with a fair touch of French. Just about as I’d thought. We were Thankful for all of our ancestors who were responsible for us being here.

Bonnie and Chuck drove Mary and me back to our suite because I can’t drive after dark on twisty, country roads. We were Thankful, again, for sweet relatives but Chuck did seem to enjoy driving my Dodge Challenger coupe. We talked about fast cars all the way back to our suite.

So, we returned home safely the next day, Friday. It was a fine three days. I truly hope yours was as nice. We are Thankful for good, patient readers.