Taken Thanksgiving Day 2016 on Florida’s Forgotten Coast
This is my third Christmas spent in Florida’s panhandle. Compared to a traditional Christmas in colder parts of the country, Christmas here doesn’t even come close. No snow, no roasting anything on an open fire (inside, that is), no snowmen, no sleigh bells, no frost bitten noses.
Santa arrives every year in Apalachicola on a shrimp boat. I’m serious. And although, the old fellow is about as out of place as a chandelier in an outhouse, he greets children who anxiously wait on the dock, excited to tell Ole Saint Nick what’s on their Christmas list.
Once Halloween was over, my thoughts immediately turned to Thanksgiving. There’s so much to do, but I knew where to start.
I began by opening a large cardboard box, the word Thanksgiving scribbled with a black Sharpie on the top flap. As always, when I packed up last year I deliberately put Percy Pilgrim on top so that he would be the first item to greet me when I looked inside. I was actually looking forward to seeing him (it doesn’t take much for me).
Years ago granddaughter Anna made him from a toilet paper spindle and black felt. A Thanksgiving without Percy would be like forgetting the cranberry sauce.
Seeing Percy reminded me of the pumpkin seeds…let me tell you about the pumpkin seeds. When grandson Trey was about five years old I asked him to save the seeds from his jack-o-lantern so that we could plant them and grow our own pumpkins. His mother helped him label the seeds. We never planted them because my heart just melted when I saw all the work he’d put into printing ‘pumpkin seeds’ (I knew he’d started over a dozen times. Okay, maybe I overreacted, but he was only five and had blonde curls all over his little head.) That jar of pumpkin seeds has been on a kitchen shelf wherever I’ve lived the last seventeen years. I get it out every fall and use it as part of my autumn décor. Continue reading