The Basket Lady
Basket Lady wants to wish everyone in the River Valley a very happy Thanksgiving! May your hearts be filled with thankfulness and your homes filled with love.
While counting your blessings this Thanksgiving, say a prayer for the families and individuals living in New Jersey and New York that they, too, may have a safe place to live, a warm bed and a Thanksgiving meal.
Say a prayer for our nation to rally around them for the short and long haul as they recover; and if anyone knows of any church groups in the River Valley that’s collecting basic necessities to send to the victims of Hurricane Sandy, let the Basket Lady know and she’ll donate a care and comfort basket.
Basket Lady’s short story about Thanksgiving. When I was a little girl, probably eight years old, we couldn’t afford to buy a turkey, so instead, we went over to Ruby Cowart’s house and celebrated Thanksgiving with her brood of 10 children by sharing a very large pot of black-eyed peas, homemade cornbread, catsup, southern style iced tea, and a serving of banana pudding.
Ruby Cowart had a heart of gold and feeding the kids in the Judson neighborhood that I grew up in was as natural to her as breathing.
She was always patching up some kids’ scrapped elbows or giving a hug to a neighbor down and out but no matter what else was going on in the rest of the world, Ruby never grew weary of helping others.
When we were all gathered at Ruby Cowart’s house, sitting down with all of our friends and elbowing our way to the Hunt’s catsup bottle to pile the soupy stuff on top of our piping hot black-eyed peas, grabbing for the butter to put on our piece of cornbread, and drinking iced tea until it was coming out of our ears; all the while eagerly anticipating the time when Ruby dished out her mouth-watering homemade banana pudding, cold from the refrigerator, and as if providence willed it, there would be enough to go around and when our bellies were full, we felt overjoyed.
Ruby thanked God for whatever she had to feed all of us, but we didn’t care if we had a turkey with dressing to eat or not. To us, it wasn’t about the food anyway, it was about being with friends who shared what they had and did so gladly.
To us, it was about being with others who dumped their catsup on their black-eyed peas and thought it added to the taste.
To us, it was about caring for one another with whatever we had. Yep, those were the best Thanksgivings that an eight year old little girl ever had.
Friends, eat, drink, be merry and thankful!
Oh, not for more or longer days, dear Lord, My prayer shall be-
But rather teach me how to use the days, Now given me.
I ask not more of pleasure or of joy, For this brief while-
But rather let me for the joys I have, Be glad and smile. B.Y. Williams
Kindness not only counts but it adds up. Dot Sanchas, kind lady, we miss you every day! Until then, smile and live in the present.