Thanksgiving Chores

- jim Young 

Thanksgiving chores when I was young,

Was a weekend filled with laughter and fun.

We’d head to Muskoka to tie off the docks,

Then carry the boats up over the rocks.

Stored in the shed were motors and oars,

Gas cans, lifejackets, paddles and more.

Things put away and stored for the year,

Memories shared o’er a few pints of beer.

The young ones scampered through the woods to play;

Or fish from the rocks to help pass the day.

Capture the flag, building forts, catching leaves,

Hide and seek, or just climbing trees.

We’d cut down a tree, sometimes two, maybe more,

Cut, split and piled, near the back door.

While the men worked hard at growing some blisters,

Mom busied herself with the help of my sisters,

Preparing stuffed turkey, potatoes and treats.

There was always something good to eat.

The meal was enjoyed in happy reminisce,

With a tear shed in memory of loved ones we missed.

Plates were emptied as we sat back with a sigh,

Then dessert would be served in the form of a pie.

Apple or pumpkin, with cheese and whipped cream,

Were always accompanied by the inevitable scream,

When a pie landed squarely on someone’s face;

Either unexpected or after a chase.

This tradition from days long ago began,

By accident, at my Grandfather’s hand.

The dishes were washed and the table cleared,

We’d sit ‘round the woodstove as bedtime neared.

Silent in thought, a true time of Thanksgiving,

Reflecting upon the life we were living.

Thanksgiving chores are simpler these days,

My parents moved on and the children - away.

The cottage is gone and just a memory now,

For days like this to reflect and think how

Lucky I am and how lucky I was.

And it all happened to me… just because.

So I sit on my deck to enjoy the view,

While I puff a cigar as I like to do.

A sip of mojito quenches my thirst,

Which Thanksgiving chore should I tackle first?

The wood’s all cut and carefully stacked,

But I still have to turn off the outside tap.

Summer tables and chairs need put away,

But they can wait for another day.

So I’ll sit here awhile and take in the sounds,

Of the red squirrel, defending the food that he’s found.

The wind blows the chimes as the birds tweet their tweet,

The mojito on my lips still tastes so sweet.

Traditions have changed for my Thanksgiving chores.

The years have brought me to one more door.

A final puff of my cigar and it’s done.


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