To The Sun:

We lived in town and my grandparents lived on a farm 7 miles east of Parsons. It was not a large farm and Granddad was what I would call a gentleman’s farmer. Back then, the Katy Railroad was a based in Parsons and there was a huge passenger depot where Granddad owned and operated a news stand.

On the farm, they raised turkeys and sold them at Thanksgiving time. Many folks would come and buy a real live turkey for their Thanksgiving family meal.

Naturally, Grandmother would pick her own turkey. She would clean the bird herself and then cook it in a huge electric roasting pan. The farm house had no indoor plumbing and was heated with wood.

We would drive out to the farm for the day. You could smell the wood smoke coming from the chimney. I can still smell it today. Then when I got inside I could smell the turkey roasting and a multitude of other smells coming from the kitchen. Usually there was homemade bread, green beans picked from their garden and sweet potatoes that were the best ever. She would peel them and slice them about an inch thick. Then boil them until they were about half done. Then she would gently take them out of the pan and roll each slice in white table sugar. Then they were placed in a huge cast iron skillet filled with farm fresh butter and fried until they actually turned almost black on the outside. And there also was a huge pan of turkey dressing.

Being the elder of the family, Granddad always said grace and thanked the Lord for our many blessings.

When dinner was finished we had homemade apple pies cooked in a wood fired oven and also pumpkin pies. Then us kids would play outside with an old white collie dog named Buddy or just chase each other around the yard.

I have tried many times to fix the sweet potatoes like Grandmother fixed, but they just are not the same. My sweet wife does make turkey dressing and desserts that can hold their own with anyone.

Hopefully, my sons will continue a family Thanksgiving feast at one of their homes. As for the sweet potatoes, I will wait until I am “called home” some day where I will meet my loved ones again. I bet Grandmother will fix those sweet potatoes for me then and we will live in eternity with our Lord forever and ever. Talk about “precious memories.” — MIKE WOMELDORFF, Parsons

 

November is Epilepsy Awareness Month

To The Sun:

Most people don’t realize that after Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes Epilepsy Awareness Month.

More than 3 million Americans have epilepsy or a seizure disorder. I am one of thousands working to raise awareness of this terrible condition. Epilepsy or seizure-related deaths kill 55,000 people a year, which is a higher number than breast cancer. Yet you don’t see epilepsy being supported by the NFL by wearing purple. Delta Airlines doesn’t offer special purple-colored drinks. Hallmark doesn’t make a special epilepsy awareness ornament for Christmas time. Ford Motor Co. doesn’t raise money for epilepsy awareness. Yoplait yogurt doesn’t sell yogurt with purple lids. LOFT doesn’t have a special limited addition collection for the epilepsy fighter, and the list can go on and on.

Just like cancer, epilepsy is a cruel disease that affects innocent people. Therefore, I don’t understand why they aren’t treated equally. There is no cure and we have little funding for research. As someone affected by epilepsy, I strongly encourage you to get educated about epilepsy.

My life or the life of another may depend on you. To learn more about epilepsy and find ways you can help go to www.epilepsy.com.

— SIENNA PAONI, Girard

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