Over the River…

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Editor’s Post by Deborah Hetrick Catanese

Over the river, and through the woods,

To Grandfather’s house we go;

the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh

through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river, and through the woods,

to Grandfather’s house away!

We would not stop for doll or top,

for ’tis Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river, and through the woods—

oh, how the wind does blow!

It stings the toes and bites the nose

as over the ground we go.

Over the river, and through the woods—

and straight through the barnyard gate,

We seem to go extremely slow,

it is so hard to wait!

Over the river, and through the woods—

now Grandmother’s cap I spy!

Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?

Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

Lydia Maria Child wrote this poem/song about Thanksgiving in 1844, and I remember singing it as a child at school, over a hundred years later. Once I had children, my spouse and I often sang it in the car to temper the percolating impatience of “ARE WE THERE YET?”, especially during the almost unbearable excitement of the holidays. I’m sure my kids would tell you that we often bungled the words, or even intentionally changed them, as we added lines about impudent children, lol, or whatever suited our mood.

So, as we all prepare for the second of our Big Four holidays that begin in October and take us through the New Year and help to distract us partway through winter, maybe we can hear Ms. Child’s words as a reminder. A reminder that even though the times seemed simpler and less discordant back then, we are all still one people. Our predecessors did not have the Macy’s Parade, but we still follow their lead in pausing to give thanks. We remember and connect to our past while breaking bread, sharing turkey (or Tofurkey), and partaking of the pumpkin pie at the end. We are inhabitants on the same planet, on the same continent, with children and parents and grandparents still seeking the comforts of food, family, and our favorite things, whether we use horses or horsepower or Skype to connect with those we love.

Today at Project Motherhood, we give thanks to each and every one of you for connecting with us on our blog and hope that you continue to enjoy reading about whatever floats our boat (or gets our goat!) from one day to the next. Our wish is that all of our special Mamas will find the time this Thanksgiving to truly enjoy their family and give thanks for the sweet blessings of abundance and camaraderie, and even find some help with all those dishes!

Today is your opportunity as Mamas to pass on the Thanksgiving tradition to your tribe, just like in days past. And just in case your horse doesn’t know the exact way, I’m sure one of your kids can consult their GPS to help with that.

Fashionably and gratefully yours,


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