Peebles Elementary hosts PBIS showcase NAES student starting Christmas Card project Try and tell them that nobody cares Senior Profile: Ethan Thompson 15-point lead vanishes, Hounds fall in season opener Deer Gun Season results down all across Ohio Hometown Christmas in Peebles rings in the holiday season Manchester Elementary receives 2016 Momentum Award Drug bust in West Union Stephen C Foster Donna Rivers WUES students perform as part of Honor Choir Ohio Brush Creek Canoe/Kayak access completed Hall of Fame Christmas in Portsmouth Thyme to trim the Christmas Tree Junior High Lady Hounds get season-opening sweep Lady Devils roll past Paint Valley in season opener Senior Profile: Jessica Johnson Michael E Roberts Sr Evelyn L Jones Thomas M Calvert Ryan, Sowards lead Lady Indians to easy win in season opener, 57-36 over Felicity Senior Profile: Wes Hayslip Justice off to hot start at VSU County boys’ squads on display in annual SHAC Preview Night ‘Operation Christmas Child’ collects 1,707 shoe boxes for needy children Two animal cruelty cases investigated in Adams County DP&L considers closing power-generating plants in county Holiday spirit makes an early appearance in Adams County Chester A Mann Jeffrey A Daley Sr Michael G Tincher DAR sponsors Good Citizen Award Ohio’s young hunters harvest nearly 6,000 deer during Youth Gun Season Senior Profile: Kayle Thomas Helen N Hiestand Rev Walter R Egnor Sr Betty Beam Jamie L Corrill Jeffrey L Heppard Edsel L Massey Jr It is time to stop and take time to give thanks on a special day Another year to be very thankful for Senior Profile: Savannah McCoy McCoy signs to continue golf career at SSU North Adams hosts SHAC Girls Preview DAR commemorates 50th anniversary of Vietnam War Historical Society honors veterans Star Wars routine leads Fancy Free Cloggers to ‘America’s Got Talent’ A Day at the Opera Eagle Creek draws community to Thanksgiving celebration Ward ekes out victory over Worley in county commissioner race Mary A Garman Ronald L Palmer Joseph S McClanahan II Emma O Hayslip Devils slip by Georgetown in Foundation Game Hupp, Hunter, Wolke named OSSCA Second Team All-State Senior Profile: Kain Turner Lady Devils romp in Foundation Game Oh, those aromas coming from Mom’s kitchen What Became My Biggest Project Deer gun season set to begin ‘Trees to Textbooks’ shares revenues with local schools and communities BREAKING NEWS Winchester’s Baxter wins Miss Ohio USA 2017 pageant Genny Elkins Pauline S Stevenson Donald E Lewis Sr Charlotte R Seaman Ruth Prater Bennie Skaggs Gertrude Swayne West Union High School hosts impressive Veterans Day ceremonies Peebles Elementary hosts ceremony to honor local veterans Duke Energy exits Killen and Stuart Plants GE Aviation hosts annual Veterans Day celebration Senior Profile: Logan Gordley Jeffrey A Brown Sr Peebles Library welcomes local author and survivor on Nov. 19 Homer C Eldridge Robert W Schomberg One Commissioner race too close to call in unofficial count Voters approve majority of county levies on Tuesday’s election ballot NAES Sixth Graders practice the democratic process Honoring one who gave the ‘last full measure of devotion’ Overcoming adversity, veteran of Iraq War opens local business Senior Profile: Ben Figgins Senior Profile: Macy Mullenix SHAC Basketball Previews are set for Nov. 18 and 25 Trio of local golfers finish careers with trip to the highest level of high school competition Peebles sophomore Jenny Seas finishes sixth in OHSAA state cross-country meet Upset win sends Trump to the White House ACRMC awarded plaque for 50 years of service Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for First Nine Week Grading Period BREAKING ELECTION NEWS! Senior Profile: Jordyn Kell Orlie H Kirker Military homecoming at NAES
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A cooked goose on Thanksgiving

As we go deeper into the fall season a holiday I’ve always enjoyed and felt symbolizes family and gratefulness for what we have to be thankful for arrives at the end of November. For years Thanksgiving was either at our house or my Aunt Margaret’s. After marriage we would go to Sharon’s parents or Aunt Joan’s and also added a trip to my parents’ home. We always had a bountiful feast at every place I have mentioned. As Sharon and I settled into our lives as a married couple and then parents and home owners, we decided that maybe Thanksgiving could be held at our home once in a while. We did host a couple times in our first home and must say Sharon delivered a Thanksgiving equal to the ones we had attended before.

We moved to near Bethel and after a couple of years there Sharon decided it should be our turn and we should invite all members of the family who wanted to come. I agreed and thought this was a good thing to have a lot of family around on the special day of Thanksgiving. However, I forgot, or had never really helped much before, with preparation for a crowd this size and all the cleaning and cooking that comes with it. I had greatly underestimated.

Sharon did all the shopping and it seemed like Kroger had been bought out. With the food taken care of the cleaning began and when I say cleaning, I mean deep cleaning. Not only me, but Sharon and our 12 year old daughter Meghan and even six year old son Brendan were assigned areas that had to be cleaned so as to be inspected by the lady of the house and I can’t emphasize just how clean. Scrub it with a tooth brush clean.

Brendan was handed a can of Pledge and some rags and his Mom explained to him what she wanted done. He started out just fine but, the attention span of a six year old is short. So Meghan got the balance of the dusting along with cleaning bathrooms and baseboards much to her objection, but she worked hard on it. Sharon was working through every room inspecting and finishing what they hadn’t. Now as for me, I grabbed the vacuum cleaner and all the dirty laundry as I knew these things I could do and be of help. But more jobs seemed to continue to pop up.

As the evening got later Sharon moved into the kitchen and began preparation for side dishes, preparing the fine silverware and dishes, and setting the main and auxiliary tables up for our company. About 10 p.m. or so Sharon called me to the kitchen and pointed to the 20 pound frozen turkey that was taking up the bottom rack of our refrigerator and told me to put it in the utility tub in the laundry room and fill it with tap water so it would thaw.

This I where she made a big mistake and I made an even bigger one. I heard her say water and thaw. The clock was heading toward midnight and company would be there by noon the next day. Anybody knows it takes a 20 lb. turkey six to seven hours to bake. All of a sudden I had a brain storm. Why hadn’t anybody thought of this? So I put the bird in the tub and filled it with the hottest water we had available. I was a genius.

I went about other chores and kept checking and about two hours passed and the bird was getting soft. I drained the water and filled it up again with hot water and told Sharon she might want to look at the turkey as it was getting close to baking. She laughed and said I really was off on that time. Another hour passed and the turkey was not only pliable but it was also emitting a cooking type aroma. So again I found Sharon and told her it was more than ready as I could smell it. So she went and looked. It was in the early hours of Thanksgiving that I learned why hot water was not to be used.

I also learned that I had ruined the main dish and symbol of Thanksgiving. I can’t recall or don’t want to recall a lot of things right then and right there. I learned then that Kroger was open 24 hours a day and I was going to get another turkey right then. So, at 1:30 in the morning, Meghan and I and the employees on duty at Kroger were there. Meghan pointed out that “It sure does look empty Dad.” We were the only two customers/ We found the turkeys and there were the frozen ones and there were fresh unfrozen ones. I asked my daughter which one to buy and she looked up at me and said “as mad as Mom is I would buy both.” This I did and we returned home and delivered the birds to the kitchen. My wife had calmed and took one of the turkeys and began preparation. No more was said about my very big mistake. It was then and only then I knew I was going to live to see another day.

Come Thanksgiving Day the family showed up and we had the bountiful crowd and many, many side dishes and desserts on a day that was sunny and clear, a perfect setting for Thanksgiving. Everyone had a great time and enjoyed the gathering as much as they did the turkey that my wife prepared, despite my help. Since that Thanksgiving we have held some others at our home and have gone to other’s homes to enjoy those also, but there isn’t a year that goes by that my two children don’t remind me of the boiled turkey and my cooked goose.

Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and likes to share his stories about his youth and other topics. He may be reached at houser734@yahoo.com.

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The Good Old Days

Rick Houser

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