Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love to cook. But as a kid, what I loved the most was the eating!

While living in Louisiana, Thanksgiving was always at Mamaw Shivers’ house (pictured). I still marvel today she put out the spread she did – potluck aside – from that little kitchen. We numbered a couple dozen just in the core family alone.

The ladies would be mostly in the kitchen while the men were on the front porch. We kids would litter the yard. Sitting on the propane tank or climbing in the fig tree. Playing chase and getting dirty or getting in trouble for being in the barn. Some of us would sit with the folks awhile and listen to the stories. Papaw Shivers had a distinctive way of laughing I can still see in my head to this day.

But mostly, we kids were waiting. Everybody has their favorite of course. And Mamaw Shivers is known for her biscuits. But for me, Thanksgiving was about cornbread dressing and cheese spaghetti. I looked forward to those two dishes most of all. I always wanted more. The cornbread dressing had a chance at seconds; the cheese spaghetti never did.

It’s been years – decades really – since I was home for Thanksgiving at Mamaw’s. The opportunity to do so now has passed. As a kid, I surely had no appreciation of what was in front of me. As a genealogist, my heart aches at the opportunities lost. But as an adult, I’ve come to realize that those are some of my warmest memories of my time there.

And I am thankful for them.

Rorey Cathcart
Copyright (c) 24 November 2012