The table was laden with bowls and platters of scrumptious goodies waiting to be devoured by hungry family members. But first let me tell you a little bit about our hostess.
Margaret Elenore Carder Finicle was the sister of my grandpa, Wilbur Silas Carder. She was born in Kenton, Ohio on April 24, 1915, to Nathan Isaac and Mary Alice (Alford) Carder. Growing up with her brothers, Marge naturally became a tomboy. She loved hunting and fishing and enjoyed these outdoor activities throughout her life. I remembered, when I was a child, my dad and uncles going hunting and Aunt Marge was right there with them. In her senior years, she no longer went hunting, *** Margaret Eleanore Carder Finicle and but she did continued fishing well into the last year of her life.
granddaughter, Karen, in the 1960s. *** She loved other outdoor activities, including growing vegetables and flowers.
She grew up in a time when hunting and fishing were not just leisurely activities done for sport. Going hunting or fishing made the difference whether there would be meat on the supper table. She learned to hunt, fish, or trap out of necessity and how to skin, clean, and cook what she caught. And what a good cook she was!
Aunt Marge had the gift of telling a story or a joke. She was the orneriest, funniest person I’ve ever known. She could find humor in nearly everything. She would tell a story or joke sometimes enhancing it by acting it out as she told it. And she wasn’t beneath pulling a good prank once in awhile either.
Finally, everyone piled their plates full with the delicious Thanksgiving food on the table and we ate. As many families do, our Thanksgiving dinners usually includes at least one other meat in addition to the turkey. Next to the bird was a delightful looking roast. When we were finishing the meal, Aunt Marge asked if we like the roast. Everyone agreed, the roast beef was really good, nice and tender and flavorful. Except it wasn’t roast beef. My great aunt then announce that she was glad everyone liked the groundhog. Yes, I said groundhog. Believe it or not, it really was groundhog and with her skills in preparing game, it was mild and tender and didn’t have a “gamey” smell or taste. We really had thought it was roast beef.
When we asked her why she served us groundhog, she said, “It got in my yard.”
Anytime I think of my great aunt, Marge, it puts a smile on my face but that Thanksgiving. That is one Thanksgiving my family will never forget and a smile comes across the faces of my family members when it is remembered.