Thanksgiving can bring many debates about food at the gathering table. Those debates surrounding food can be what foods to phase in or phase out. Mashed potatoes versus baked potatoes. Cranberries fresh or from the can, jellied or berries. (I prefer jellied cranberries and it has to be a certain brand.) Marshmallows on top of the sweet potatoes or no marshmallows. Stuffing or dressing (yes there is a difference between the two.) Bake the turkey or deep fry the turkey. Green bean casserole or no green bean casserole. Oh, the desserts galore.
This January marked 18 years since my mom, Annie, passed away from breast cancer. My mom and I were close. We talked about everything. She was my rock. She was my encourager. She was my cheerleader. She was my everything. I knew no one would ever replace her completely.
Rural flight is when rural people leave to urban areas. Many reasons have been discussed why this happens. I wonder if there is a reason we are not really talking about. I wonder if a bigger reason is if we are creating a community where our children want to come back to. Are we creating an environment where we can thrive? Thriving in a community doesn't only mean financially, but also being a part of something.
This year, many farmers are just trying to get through the holidays. Many have had to make difficult decisions. Hard conversations have been had at kitchen tables, the same place where many farm kids have written their letters to Santa. Sad choices have been made for many to sell their dairy cows. When dairy cows are sold it brings in another conversation: Can we stay? How can we stay? Some have also had to move to a new house, a new community, a new life with new traditions.