The Mabey Homestead of old Beavertown was the backdrop of this true-life saga. I wrote this story, back in the fall of 1972.
The Thanksgiving Story, Part Two
By Richard Mabey Jr.
Our story so far: It is Thanksgiving morning at the old Mabey Homestead. Grandma is concerned for Grandpa’s health. My dad assures Grandma that Grandpa will be okay.
And then the sound of the creaking of the hallway floorboards could be heard throughout the home. My grandfather would soon be downstairs. The color and life of the day would then begin to bloom. Grandpa would always come down on Thanksgiving day in a crisp, white shirt. He would wear his dress black pants and his thin black tie.
When he appeared in the kitchen doorway, we all saw him dressed in his old flannel shirt and denims. This was Grandpa’s standard style of dress for day to day life. I remember how Grandma looked at her beloved husband, as she finished peeling the apple that she held in her hand.
“Watson Mabey have you completely lost your senses and forgot what day today is?” Grandma asked the dear old patriarch as he stood in the archway of the kitchen.
“Judging by the fact that them’s apples you’re peeling there, it’s probably Saint Valentine’s Day. You just can’t wait to show how much you love this old man by baking him up one of them delicious pies you make up,” Grandpa replied with a twinkle in his eye.
“It ain’t Saint Valentine’s Day, Watson Mabey! You know good and well that this here is Thanksgiving Day. The least you can do is wear a clean white shirt and tie, just one day in the year’s time!” Grandma replied in pretended anger.
“Well, my dear beloved, I want you to know that I have every contention of properly dressing for the carving of that there turkey. But, I got my mind set to take a walk down there to the old canal tow path,” Grandpa firmly stated.
“For heaven’s sake, Watson! You just get that idea out of your stubborn head, right here and now. That doctor told you plain as day to take it easy, since you got out of the hospital last month. Besides, you shouldn’t be walking all the way down to the canal by yourself!” Grandma replied with concern overflowing in her voice.
“Bertha dear, I ain’t said I was going to hike down to the canal by my lonesome. I got every intention of taking along my grandson, Dicky Jim,” Grandpa proudly proclaimed.
“I don’t like it. I don’t want you walking down to the canal,” Grandma replied.
“Well, I’ve been cooped up in this old farmhouse, near tell a month now. It’s high time that I took myself the liberty of taking a walk down them woods and see the beauty of the old canal,” Grandpa stated.
I remember how Grandma looked into the eyes of my grandfather. I don’t think that I will ever forget the look in her eyes, in that very moment in time. Grandma’s eyes reflected a myriad of sadness, joy, wonder and a look of questioning where all the time had gone. Grandma looked at me for a split second. I saw a tear in her eye.
To be continued.