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A Thanksgiving to Remember

Diane Prather
Pipi's Pasture

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I’ve always enjoyed the Thanksgiving holidays (and I’ve seen a lot of them), so I decided to begin writing columns with a Thanksgiving theme. This week’s column comes from one Thanksgiving that stands out, so much so that I may have written about it before.

I can’t remember the exact year, but our family lived at Severance, Colorado, located between Greeley and Fort Collins. I was a teacher at Eaton High School, and our boys, Jody and Jamie, attended Windsor schools.

We were celebrating husband Lyle’s birthday on November 19th, which that year was just before Thanksgiving, and his sister Florence (Van Tassel) of Craig called with her best wishes. She mentioned that the weather was changing on the western slope. A lot of thunder and lightning accompanied rain that soon turned into heavy, wet snow. She said that it was really piling up.



We thought “Oh, no” and rightly so because we knew that the snowy weather was apt to move across the mountains to the eastern slope. That’s just what happened. I don’t remember how long it took for the snow to hit Severance, but it arrived with wind. Drifts formed across the roads, leaving driving on them impossible. The snow piled up. Schools closed.

I had shopped for our Thanksgiving dinner some days before and had plans for another shopping trip a little closer to the day in order to purchase last-minute items such as perishable vegetables and whipped topping. Now that wouldn’t happen. I also had plans to order dairy products from Lowell Paul Dairy in Greeley when the delivery man made his weekly stops at homes in Severance and the surrounding area. However, the dairy truck driver couldn’t get through the drifted roads and ended up staying with a family near Eaton. (Lucky people with that truck full of yummy products!)



We had invited our neighbors, an elderly couple who lived down the street, to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with us. We stuck to our plans. I roasted the turkey, and we had mashed potatoes and gravy and other Thanksgiving sides, but as I remember we were missing dressing because we didn’t have celery and perhaps croutons. We had pumpkin pie without whipped topping. We just gathered up what we had and were thankful that we were safe and warm. We took a plate of food to our next door elderly neighbor who didn’t want to leave her house.

I don’t recall how many days passed before the roads opened again. Goose season was on and the hunters managed to drive through some of the snow in their trucks, but in doing so the snow became packed down and difficult to remove later. When schools opened up again, I found driving to get there to be challenging — similar to driving over a small roller coaster track.

Over the years I’ve seen all kinds of weather at Thanksgiving, both dry and snowy, but this particular year was one to remember.


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