Be thankful for all of God’s blessings

Published 9:16 am Saturday, November 21, 2015

Peeping through my Venetian blind, I rejoiced in the myriad of fall colors, seen in the autumn leaves. I thought, too, of Thanksgiving next Thursday, November 26.

It is a day to thank God for all His blessings, which I do with all my heart.

I’ve been invited to Covington Hall for Thanksgiving dinner, along with Mrs. Gotrocks of Greenville, Miss Priscilla Primme, Mr. Topper Propper, Miss Birdie Purdy, Clay Clyde Clump, the Portly Gentleman, and others.

Miss Cora Covington has asked me for ideas for the meal; and, so far, the following is what she’s planned – turkey and dressing, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, ham, chicken and dumplings, English peas, peach pickles, deviled eggs, roast, watermelon-rind preserves, stuffed celery, rolls, tea, punch, squash casserole, potato salad, green-bean casserole, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, sweet-potato pie, parsnips, corn, clam chowder, apple rings, various casseroles, congealed salads, pear salad, quail, rabbit, squirrel, fish, and a few more dishes.Miss Flora Covington has been decorating the dining hall, especially the grand table, in Dickensian beauty.

Miss Dora Covington plans to play the piano for us after we dine. We always sing “Thanksgiving Day” by Lydia Maria Child, better known as “Over the River and Through the Wood,” “Let All Things Now Living,” “We Gather Together,” and “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come.”

Then somebody plays as Miss Dora sings “Bless This House.”

It wouldn’t seem like Thanksgiving without these songs.

Some mistakenly think “Thanksgiving Day” is a Christmas song. They should know better by the title, but they think it’s “Over the River.”

Of course, Colonel Covington leads us in the blessing.

Before the feast ends, various persons lift their glasses in toasts. Foremost among these is the Portly Gentleman, who also likes to quote verses 11 – 13 from Psalm 65 – “Thou crownest the year with Thy bounty; the tracks of Thy chariot drip with fatness. The pastures of the wilderness drip, the hills gird themselves with joy, the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain; they shout and sing together for joy.”

O, blessed be the Lord, our God, forever and ever!

All this talk of Thanksgiving reminds me of the monthly luncheon for Fifty Forward (the senior adults of First Baptist Church), Tuesday, November l7, in the Fellowship Hall.

John Yanes, the new CEO of Andalusia Regional Hospital as of March of this year, spoke on the services of ARH. Yanes has more than 25 years of experience in managing community hospitals and health systems.

He and his wife Cheryl have been married 24 years. They have three children, Chris at the University of Florida; Julian at the University of Cincinnati; and Catherine, a freshman at the Andalusia High School.

Gordon Vickers, director of senior adults, presided. “Happy Birthday” was sung to Vickers, for his 78th birthday November 3. He and his wife, Trudy, were also wished well for their upcoming 41st wedding anniversary November 28.

The meal, catered by Gary’s at Wages in River Falls, offered turkey and dressing, cranberry sauce, rolls and fried bread, green beans, green salad, and sweet potato casserole, with tea.

The blessing was worded by Kim Dyess. Pastor Fred Karthaus worded the benediction.

The tables were decorated for Thanksgiving by Trudy Vickers, assisted by Betty Bass and Kittye Wyatt.

The head table was centered with a large, “wooden” turkey, surrounded with fall leaves, Indian corn, and small pumpkins.

Each table had a centerpiece of baby pumpkins, circled with fall leaves. A Thanksgiving napkin marked each place.

This same group traveled to Sisters’ Restaurant in Troy, Thursday, November 5, to enjoy the famous buffet. Traveling were Kittye Wyatt, Bill Law, June Smith, Buddy and Betty Brunson, Trudy and Gordon Vickers, Morgan and Wilma Moore, Vivian Hickey, and Kim and Eleanor Dyess. Dyess drove the church bus.

Master Campbell Rabren Johnson was honored with a party to celebrate his seventh birthday November 10.

The fun took place at the home of Campbell’s paternal grandparents, Wayne and Lenora Johnson; and was planned as a series of games in which all the guests competed for trophies and prizes.

Serving as coaches, instructors, and scorekeepers for the games were Tom Steele (neighbor), “Pappy” (Maternal Grandfather Bill Rabren), Maria Thigpen (friend), Jason Mott (friend), “Meme” (Maternal Grandmother Frances Rabren), and Dad (Ken Johnson).

Cheering the participants from the sidelines were Mom (MaryAnn Rabren Johnson), Bill Thigpen (friend), and Gordon and “Miss” Trudy Vickers (church friends).

Following the games, Campbell and his guests spent time presenting and opening his birthday gifts.

Then everyone left the Johnson house and headed for the Dairy Queen where they were treated to dinner and birthday cake. The trophy winners were announced and consolation prizes awarded.

Campbell’s guests were Amerra and Daniel McMullen,, Krish Patel, Braylen Chapmen, Ocean Reeves, Jack Wilson, River Lindsey, and Dayton Smith.

Campbell told me that the Dairy Queen was a really good place for a birthday party because Mrs. Patel could make the best ice-cream cake “EVER” and that “Grandma and Grandpa Patel” could set up the neatest birthday party tables!

Anyone wishing to join fellow graduates of Samford University for an annual meeting should call Joe Wingard.

I was saddened to learn that Randy Cornelius retired November 1 as a local barber. He cut hair for 41 years.

Seen out and about were Jimbo Caton, Greg Caton, Todd Caton, Calmese Veasey, Dr. Mike Wells, Thelma Glisson, Bob and Flora Roland, Lynne Bush, Phillip Jones, Richard Jones, Paula Tillman, Bobbie McCommons, and one of the Ralls twins – the good-looking one.

All about town preparations are being made for Christmas – and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!

I miss Green’s by the river, the coziness of it, the barbecue sandwiches and plates of French fries, and the sound of Jo’s chopping the pork.

What weather we’ve had! I’m glad we had at least a few Indian-summer days of golden, quiet, gentle, paceless, warm, idle, lovely hours.

Don’t forget the Pilot Club’s annual Pancake and Sausage Day December 5, 5:30 a.m. – noon, at the Kiwanis Building. It’s only seven dollars for all you can eat. The Portly Gentleman certainly plans to be there – Lord willing.

Once again, I ask the citizens of Andalusia to join the Covington Historical Society and pay its annual dues of $25 to help preserve the history of our county, whether you attend meetings or not. Mail to CHS, P.O. Box 1582, Andalusia, Alabama 36420.

The mysterian is the member of the AHS Class of 1926, still living.

Born this week were Sir William Schwenck Gilbert, the English librettist of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, and George Eliot, the English novelist who wrote under a man’s name. She was born Mary Ann Evans, but wrote under a pseudonym, probably for financial reasons.

In the good, old days, schoolchildren were required to read Eliot’s novel, Silas Marner. Everyone used to know where Eppie was. I remember asking my elderly landlady, and she immediately answered correctly. That’s not so today. Gentle reader, do you know where Eppie was?

This common knowledge used to connect one generation to another, which is a good thing.

When I was young, I heard quite by accident a recording of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Three Little Maids.” I had no idea who wrote it. I just knew that I liked it and that it was music, real music!

Years later I learned that it was part of Gilbert and Sullivan.

Gentle reader, listen to Gilbert and Sullivan before you pass on to Glory. That music is one of life’s great joys.

Especially, listen to The Pirates of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore, and The Mikado.

Now, gentle reader, allow me to join Buffalo Bob Smith in encouraging each of us to be in his place of worship this weekend, Lord wiling.

Fare thee well.