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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

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Ashland Speaks

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 11/20/23 | 11/20/23

By Lula Anderson

Another week gone by; another week closer to THANKSGIVING.  Already?  The weather has turned considerably colder.  Ski slopes have been trying out their snowmaking skills.  Heard Windham has 2 slopes covered.  I have had ice throughout the day in many of my outdoor birdbaths.  Bring in wood, put the plastic back on the windows.  Have you found all of your winter clothes that you put away last spring?  Out come the heavy jackets.  I’m hoping we can finally put the lawn mowers away.

Thanks to all who supported the local churches on Election Day by participating in their dinners and bake sales.  Another tradition I hope continues.  It’s too bad that people don’t bake for sales anymore.  There are recipes galore on the internet that we read and don’t make and donate. 

The American Legion will be able to actually go up to Stratton VA and personally hand their bags of gifts to the Veterans this year.  Ginny Gurley will once again be spearheading and supervising the gifts.  Wrapping (and fun) will be December 10th. 

WAJPL Golden Agers will be holding their monthly social meeting with guest speakers on Monday the 20th.  You’ve all heard of Friendsgiving and that is what we have planned for refreshments.  So far we have turkey and gravy, stuffing, cranberry relish lined up.  If you know of someone alone, bring a take out box and bring them a dinner. (or bring them to the meeting for the full effect.)

Sincerest sympathy to the families of Arita Jaeger DeMarco and Marilyn Dippold from Westkill.  Wa;d better Lorna Barlow Puleo ( I can’t believe you did the second knee  good for you) and Kevin Holmok.  Prayers for Craig Benjamin.


The holidays are right around the corner.  Does it come faster? Or it just my imagination?  Yes, we have already seen the decorations appearing in the stores.  Share Halloween on one side of the aisle and Christmas on the other.  Orange candy on the shelves make way to Christmas wrapped.  Get out and buy.  Pre “Black Friday” Black Friday Sales. 

My thoughts go back to the large family dinners.  We had names we always picked at Thanksgiving for the Christmas Dinner.  Each family took a holiday to host.  It would be all my father’s family as my mother had only her Aunt, Nellie Alberti, and we spent Sundays and Christmas Eve with them.  My father had one sister who had four children and lived on a farm outside of Delhi.  His brother, Charles  lived in Margaretville and had four children.  We (Leslie Holdridge family), had five children and lived on the farm here in Ashland.  Only my Grandmother Caroline was alive, so without inviting any “outsiders”, there would be twenty.  (This was before the grandchildren came.)  Everyone brought their special dish.  No one made rolls like my aunt.  The table was overloaded with food.  If the weather was cold enough, my father would have harvested ice and we made homemade ice cream.  Each family would put the good china out for the meal.  Mine was the war time Noritake Rose pattern.  So easy to take out of the china closet, but they never seemed to fit when it was time to put them away. 

After dinner (and dishes were washed), everyone would go into the parlor where we had music (piano, fiddle, ) singing, dancing, laughing talking and playing simple games.  Does anyone still play Charades?  The names of all present would go into a hat and names drawn for the Christmas gathering.  Make sure you sit next to the person you got to try to find out what was wanted for a gift.  Many “remember whens” were laughed about.  Cousins played with cousins on the floor—maybe Pick Up Stix, or a rousing board game.  If it snowed, the kids would go out and play in the snow before it was time to pack up and go home.  TAhe stuffs memories are made of.

Now people go to a restaurant or have their meal prepared for pickup.  Then it’s eat and run.  No fun.  Just another meal.  Let’s get the family gatherings back again.  Open your house and hearts to others.  Enjoy the blessings of the holiday and remember the name Thanksgiving has a meaning other than turkey dinner. 

Judy and I wish you and your families a wonderful, grateful Thanksgiving and blessings for the entire Holiday Season.    

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