Thursday, November 29, 2012

An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving

There were no servants, for the little daughters were Mrs. Bassett's only maids, and the stout boys helped their father, all working happily together with no wages but love, learning in the best manner the use of the heads and hands with which they were to make their own way in the world. 

Louisa May Alcott
illustrated by Holly Johnson 1974

We read this at bedtime in the days leading up to Thanksgiving and it's such a sweet story.  Mother has to visit Grandma so she leaves her seven children with oldest sister Tilly in charge.  It's the day before Thanksgiving in New England and Tilly decides to put together dinner with her sister's help.  All sorts of things go awry but I love Tilly's sense of responsibility in taking care of her siblings, doing all the cooking, and being "Mistress" of the house.

My sister was born when I was fifteen and that year Thanksgiving dinner fell on me to prepare.  I loved it- baking bread, making pies from scratch, the turkey, everything.  Of course I had modern conveniences, only one little brother under foot and my mom in the next room for help, but I can relate to Tilly and her desire to be substitute "mother hen".

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