Longleaf Stories

full circle in the hundred acre wood

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It has everything to do with childhood memories before everything went south. Before Daddy died when I was 13. Before spider webs wrapped themselves around Mother’s synapses and short-circuited her mind. I freeze that “before” time by making a sweet domestic nest with my beloved. By immersing in the aromas of …

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Last Thanksgiving I decided “enough” with all this cooking. It makes a mess, takes up a lot of time, and what’s the difference anyway, right? A roast turkey is a roast turkey. So I went to the dark side and ordered Thanksgiving dinner for eight from my local grocery store. A side dish called “ambrosia” …

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First frost of the season. Lou, our chocolate Lab, is eager to get out in it and explore. One more swallow of steaming black coffee and I’m ready, too. All three million olfactory receptors in her nose are on high alert. We head to the woods and enjoy a fine, brisk walk as the sun shoots bright …

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Thanksgiving morning: hard frost, dazzling sun, vermillion pops of color at the bird feeder, and the fawn who lost its spots has found corn in the trough out back and learned to stand on its hind legs to reach the delicacy. After this accomplishment, she does a dance of joy, running madly in circles. It …

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She reminds me of an old four star general, marching reflexively to distant cannon fire and preparing for battle with a ferocity no mere civilian can grasp. Thanksgiving is coming, and there is an eighteen-pound Butterball to be bought, defrosted for three days and reconstituted as a living symbol of perseverance. I’m only 62, a …

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