A newspaper colleague of mine recently mentioned in his column about the old tradition of making horseradish sauce.
“Though I was late to the process, there was enough horseradish hot air floating in the shed for me to tear up,” my colleague wrote.
It piqued my interest as it seems not long after taking over as editor of the Montezuma Republican in July 2000, I heard about the now late Lew Lundy, the former and long-time superintendent at Montezuma, and friends getting together in his garage to make horseradish sauce. I had plans to write a story about the horseradish-making event, but it never happened.
I don’t recall ever eating horseradish sauce nor did my family use it when I was growing up. There are several brands available at the grocery store, but it never has appealed to me.
What has appealed to me is time with family this Thanksgiving season. We enjoyed a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving this year and I hope you and your family did as well.
We all met at my mother-in-law’s place north of Montezuma. Some cousins joined us from the rural New Sharon area and there was plenty of good food, including smoked turkey and ham, and all the fixings for all to enjoy. As with past Thanksgivings, the topics of the day touched on farming, politics and life’s ups and downs.
In the afternoon, everyone enjoyed a slice of homemade pie. Some topped it off with a spoonful of ice cream or whipped cream. I enjoyed a slice of pumpkin pie straight from the pie pan. It was good!
I also enjoyed taking a few naps throughout the day in one of the comfy recliners while watching football when I was awake.
And on Friday, much of the family made the trek to the Des Moines area to kick off Christmas shopping. I haven’t gone shopping on Black Friday in a number of years. That was back when stores opened at Midnight and before and people where running all over each other to save $2. It seemed different this year with most stores opening at 7 a.m. on Friday.
I like the change. People were in good moods, holding doors open for others and treating others with respect.
I met and visited with a lot of nice folks as my family ventured from store-to-store.
We were leaving Target in Ankeny and I noticed this young worker whose job was wiping shopping carts off after they were used. As we left, I took a moment to thank him for the good job he was doing. Wiping carts off at Target it not a glamourous job and I’m sure folks rarely thank him. It seemed to put a smile on his face.
While at Fleet Farm in Ankeny, I suggested to the cashier’s manager, who was sacking my items, that they give her a raise. “She’s one of my best employees,” the manager said.
I hope that comment goes with a little extra on her paycheck.
At another store in the outlet mall, I had to wait outside as only so many people where allowed in the store at one time. There’s a chill in the air and this young lady was outside doing her job. I struck up a conversation with her and we talked for a bit. I even said good bye on my way out the door.
In another store, I thanked the cashier for spending his holiday working.
“Someone has got to do it,” he said.
Stores everywhere had signs looking for help. To me, that is why it is so important to say thanks and have a great day. There are a lot of people who give up time with their families to pay the bills and help others get what they need in life.
And at the end of day, my family stopped at a sit-down restaurant for a meal. As we were leaving, I struck up a conversation with a couple in the booth next to us. They were nice folks and we had a pleasant visit.
My dad was like that. He could strike up a conversation with a total stranger. It used to drive me nuts. Today, it doesn’t bother me a bit.
When you meet someone, you never know what is going on in their lives. You don’t have to talk with everyone you meet or figure out every problem. But on occasion it is OK to say a kind word and most importantly, “Thanks!”
Get out an enjoy life and make this Christmas season the best ever for you and your family.
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.