In 1976, long after Nelle Bing had left here and was living in Manchester, Iowa, she penned a poem of her recollections about Thanksgiving on the family farm in Meigs County which was home to her for many years.
Ms. Bing, who was a nurse and is still remembered for her community work by some residents, was 92 when she wrote it.
She shared that poem with me which was then printed in The Daily Sentinel many years ago. Then some years later, Mildred Shuler, whose mother was a close friend of Ms. Bing, found a copy of it and it was again sent to me.
I forgot all about it until I began looking through boxes of papers and pictures at my home on one of those days when I decided it was time to rid out the vast collection of stuff in boxes which I move around about once every decade and then put back on the same shelf from which I took it or in the store room for another day. There it was.
I again choose to share it with our readers on this Thanksgiving Day for it contains a valuable message - that through the keeping of the holidays we pass on the rich traditions of our families.
Enjoy and have a Happy Thanksgiving.
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Thanksgiving on the Farm
By Nelle Bing
You may talk about life in the city
And your home so large and grand
With riches and comforts and luxuries
Always at your command.
But there’s nothing like life in the country
With a home so roomy and warm
And the day that brings sweet memories
Is thanksgiving on the farm.
To be sure I love my children
And the home they give to me,
Yet my thoughts go wand’ring back
To my childhood days so free.
When thanksgiving Day was nearing
and the fowls around the barn
Were growing plump, and ready
For Thanksgiving on the farm.
When we children fed the turkeys
Every evening, morn and noon
How we thought of good Thanksgiving
That would be here none too soon.
And what fun to watch the turkeys
As they fed in quick alarm
When we tried to catch the doomed ones
For thanksgiving on the farm.
When excitement ruled the household
And the work was in full sway;
Dressing turkeys, cooking, baking
For the coming festal day.
We boys would take the pumpkins
And to the barn we’d run
Where we’d make our jack-o-lanterns
For Thanksgiving evening fun.
And at last the blessed morning
Dawned on earth so pure and bright
And the sun above the hilltops
Filled the world with radiant light.
Where the old farmhouse was crowded
With good farmers, aged and gray
And the merry happy children
Whose young hearts were light and gay.
“Twas a sight to see the table,
Surrounded by the cheerful crowd,
Laughing, talking, looking happy.
On their faces not a cloud.
Their hearts were raised in gratitude
To the One who shields from harm,
For His blessings, love and comforts
And Thanksgiving on the farm.
At last evening closed around us,
And each voice so clear and strong,
Filled the air with gentle music
Giving thanks in song.
How I love those pleasant memories
And their every little charm,
As I sit and dream in silence
Of Thanksgiving on the farm.
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Too often we forget the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
As we gather together today to celebrate the holiday, we need to remember that Thanksgiving is a day set aside for giving “thanks” to God for the blessings he bestows on us day after day, and for “giving” of our money, time and talent in ways to benefit others.