Thanksgiving And Chisholm Trail

When an invitation was issued for Thanksgiving in Texas (after a great weekend with Texan friends) and a pending trip lining up perfectly with Thanksgiving yesterday, there was no better way than to combine both.

The Kendrick family and friends were a great bunch! Somewhat rowdy, drinks flowing, plenty of food – sounds like our family gatherings in Australia. Feeling right at home, thank you Anne, Fred, Niki, Amy, Lorin, Misty, Colin, Chris, Kelly, Kimberley, Elaine, Debbie and Gene for making us feel right at home.

 

With appetisers, huge turkeys and side dishes galore it was time for snoozing on the floor or couch in front of the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins game. Dessert followed before we left for Anne's place and watched the highlights of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

After a hearty breakfast this morning we headed back to Oklahoma via Bowie, Texas. As we stopped to take pictures of the big Bowie knife, police are helping wrangle a wayward steer across the top end of the park, without too much success it seemed. Was a funny sight, watching them run across the park!

 

Our actual intent for going this way instead of the I35 home was to go through Duncan, OK and visit the Chisholm Trail

I'm sure many a hardworking cowboy spent Thanksgiving somewhere in the Chisholm Trail corridor during the cattle drive era. Enduring long rides, vast open spaces of grasslands as they drove the cattle forward through Texas, Oklahoma and on in to Kansas perhaps the chuckwagon cooked up the odd turkey or two as a treat for them.

Not quite there, we made a short stop at Comanche to look at their Centennial Plaza. April 1, 1866, 1,800 longhorn cattle were driven through to the railhead of Kansas on the trail mapped out by Jesse Chisholm the previous year.

 

Over the coming years some 4,000,000 head of cattle moved over the Chisholm Trail (US Highway 81 corridor).

We arrived at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan to a beautiful bronze statue of a cattle drive out front with a path laid out for 'The Beginning of Trail' following the trail through rivers, creeks, ranches from Brownsville, Texas through to Abilene, Kansas.

 

Into the Center we went into the Campfire Theatre, an animatronic introduction of Jesse Chisholm talking round a campfire with a cowhand named Tex.

 

Jesse Chisholm was a trader of furs, the first cattle drive followed his wagon wheel ruts to Abilene. From there it become a common route forged in history as cattle were driven from 1866 through 1875.

The Campfire was very well done but then we went into the main theatre for 'The Chisholm Trail Experience'.

An experience it was! Sight, sound, smell, feel! I kid you not, a great little short film – As the cottonwoods sway in the breeze, so too can you feel the breeze. As the rider comes through from behind, you can feel the hooves as he passes by. During the roundup, you can smell the dirt and whilst the cattle freak out and stampede during the storm, so too do you feel the thundering of hooves, the rain on your face and lightning effects!

The displays are exceptionally done and the two beautiful galleries house some significant pieces of artwork and sculptures. At present there is a special photograph exhibition 'American Farmer'. His works are gorgeous, he has definitely captured the character of each farmer.

 

Of course we visited the gift shop and then headed North to Kingfisher. Kingfisher is home to another Chisholm Trail Museum. There is one in Cleburne, Texas also.

CLOSED

Dang it! Trip out here another day during the next couple of weeks then.

Off the trail for now.

Kat xo

 

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Happy Thanksgiving!

It's thanksgiving here in the US and believe it or not, including the likes of Canada, Liberia, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Leiden (in the Netherlands)m Norfolk Island just off Australia also observes this tradition.

As I sat this morning (I know, highly unusual for me to be doing jack $*#!) drinking my coffee and watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, I can say I am thankful for all our family, the friends we've made around the world and the chance to explore what this world has to offer.

I wondered, as I'd done the past couple of days, where the tradition had originated. This lead me to Dr Google of course finding many an explanation on Wikipaedia and other sources.

Of course most everyone knows it is observed with the likes of turkey, side dishes, pecan (lol, make sure you pronounce it as 'Pi-carn') or pumpkin pie, wine, family, football and more! It's a day for family gatherings for the holiday weekend (where as Christmas is our big to-do in Australia).

 

A long tradition of prayers and thanks in particular for previous year's crops and the harvesting thereof, tabled for all to enjoy. As early as the 16th century English traditions around thanksgiving and blessings came from acts of God, disasters and the end to wars etc, the most notable event relating to the US however was the landing of the new settlers into Plymouth (Massachusetts) 1621 and Virginia in 1619. And there's a whole lot more to that you can find on Wikipaedia

One must think back to whom the Pilgrims encountered when the arrived on the shores of Plymouth or Virginia and to that – the encounters with the Native American Indians. The Wampanoag had a great influence, giving thanks was a way of life to them on any given day. They were a part of ensuring survival of the newcomers whilst they learnt the ways of the land and how to produce crops in different regions.

There is a great school resource I found regarding that on an education site.

 

In any case, Jack and I rounded out the day with a couple of drinks, a dead chook, potatoes and peas. Topped off with caramel apple tartlets – when I get to making him a cuppa in a sec!

 

Wherever you are, I hope that besides the food etc it doesn't hurt to every now and then stop and give thanks for what we have.

 

Love and hugs to all

Kat xo

 

An Awesome Day

A late wake up this morning, I got up and did the usual yoga workout and thankfully having seen 'Granny Annie's' post on Facebook was able to flick the tv over and take in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Amazing! The floats had so much detail, good choices in entertainers and music, the marching bands, massive balloons and finishing off with the gorgeous Santa and reindeer float at the end.

 

So then it was time to get ready and go visit with friends – Melody and J.R.. We were welcomed into Russell and Vicky's (Melody's step sister) home, full of wonderful smells, wines, and their friends and family.

 

Wow! Made feel so welcome, an awesome home. I learnt the rules of NFL during the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions game. Thanks Russell now I'm up with some of the plays! I have always been fascinated by grid iron but could never quite understand the rules. It's actually pretty easy – well for what I know now. I'm sure I have more to learn and still want to see a live game!

Anyway, the food was fabulous, like a large family Christmas at home in Australia. All the women in the kitchen, lots of laughter, the men sitting in the games room. Just amazing.

We had turkey – light and dark meat (yes apparently there is a difference and a preference!), cranberry sauce, dressing – or stuffing but called dressing when it's not IN the turkey, like cubed bread, celery etc, very good! Green beans and/or a green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potato, gravy and rolls. Sides like devilled eggs, celery with cream cheese, Bleu cheese, walnuts and cranberry. Cherry coke salad – which was sensational! Sweet but not overly sweet and another creamy dish which tasted good but can't remember what was in it.

 

And that, my friends, was just dinner/lunch. Dessert was a whole other experience! Pumpkin pie – traditional and a spicier version (I tried the traditional version and it was better than grammer pie let me tell you!), pecan pie, fruit pie, apple and cinnamon pastries, and an Italian decadent cake!

 

Yes we are stuffed by now! Oh and the cookies were a hit!

I'm so glad we were given the opportunity to experience a traditional thanksgiving. Thankful for such wonderful friends and thankful for this lovely family for welcoming us into their home.

Ahhhhhh feeling happy and content

Love Kat xo