a life well lived

Thursday, November 27, 2014

"Come Again" Cabin 11/29/00

Today, I found myself thinking about Thanksgivings past.  May it was the grey, wet weather that had me gravitating toward warm thoughts of holiday pasts, or maybe reading an old posting about Star, but I found myself back in the Come Again Cabin, the little house behind Lewis and Mira's house.  

It was a small, but a cozy house.  It started out life as a chicken coop before being transformed by Don Rose (father of the Rev. Donald) into a guest house.  The Lockharts roosted there from 1956 to the late 1960s.   

Right up to the time we moved to Cherry Lane, the house was heated by coal - Pete got up every night to stoke the coals.  The living room fire place was roaring throughout most of the winter.  Life was an adventure.  It was small, but I always think of the house as filled with love.   

We did not have a lot of money but we did have a strong sense of family.  That can warm any house, no matter how antiquated its heating system. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter - we would all gather around the big dining room table set up in the living room.  I would prepare the traditional spread - turkey at Thanksgiving, perhaps a rib roast at Christmas, ham or lamb at Easter.  I was finicky about my turkey - it had to be fresh, not one of the frozen birds from the supermarket.  I would get the stuffing ready and get "John Henry" prepped and ready for the roasting.  Mashed potatoes, peas, cranberry sauce, creamed onions - I can see the fine white linen table cloth, the food served up in serving tureens that had belonged to my Grandfather Davis, the feel of the heavy Lockhart sterling silver forks and the Reynolds sterling silver spoons with the ornate faces on the backs of the bowls.  

Those years in the Come Again Cabin will always be special to me because the family was all old enough to enjoy the holidays and we were all together.   I wish I could remember more holidays with Ian.  I did not know that I should be storing up the bounty memories against the lean years.  

One Thanksgiving that stands out in my mind took place when Star Pitcairn was just a little girl, probably no more than three years old.  The rest of the family had gone to the mountains for Thanksgiving, but Star and Mim had stayed home in Bryn Athyn.  Mim brought her to our house for Thanksgiving dinner.  Well, we had not had a little girl in the house for a very long time.  Elsa was a relatively grown up ten at this time.  Mim brought down Star's super duper rocking horse and I can see Star "rocking" happily away.  Of all our Bryn Athyn Thanksgiving, that is the one that stands out the most.  Another special blessing from Star.  

That house, more than any we lived in before or since, was like a friend, another member of the family.  The tent Pete built for Mim to use for summer camps was out at the end of the property.  The azalea bushes that were given to me when Ian died were planted out back.  I loved the living room, with banks of windows on the two sides.  Pete and I spent many a chilly night in our unheated bedroom, but we managed to keep things warm.  When it got really cold in the winter, I would go into the children's rooms and get their school clothes and hang them near the coal furnace to get toasty warm.  The children would dash from their bedrooms - where they could sometimes see their breath (brrrrr) - to the warmth of the "Utility Room."  

Amazing that such a cold place can still hold a cozy and warm place in my heart.

With thanksgiving for all that love that has and is in my life - Mama L.

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