Memories of Thanksgiving and an Introduction to the Cowboys of Eden Valley

by Linda Ford, author of Merry Christmas, Cowboy in The Gift of Family (Love Inspired Historical, October 2012)

October is Thanksgiving month in Canada and one of my favorites seasons and holidays. It’s a time to celebrate the gathering of crops and gardens and rejoice in the bounty of the land.

I have so many memories of Thanksgivings past. When I was very young my family journeyed to an old country church. I recall the dusty yellow fields, the bronzed leaves on the few trees found on the prairie and the nutty smell in the air. But the aromas in the church were completely different—roasting turkey and stuffing, pumpkin pie spice and the cinnamon smell of apple pie. We sat on wooden benches while one of the ladies played a pump organ. Throughout the service we were teased by the smell of the food cooking in the basement. After the service we ate heartily. Some of the young men competed to see who could eat the most pieces of pie. Then the younger children went out and played tag in the golden dusk. I loved those days.

After I grew up and married a farmer, the season grew more intense. It was a race to get the grain harvested and in the bins. Overhead would pass huge V-flocks of honking geese. The dust from the harvest filled the air giving the best orange sunrises and sunsets.

Memories! Isn’t it wonderful to dig into them and find the nuggets that warm us? I suppose that’s what I enjoy about writing historical romances. I get to dig into the past and find heroes and heroines and give them a beautiful season of falling in love. My new miniseries–THE COWBOYS OF EDEN VALLEY–provided me a perfect opportunity to do so. My Christmas novella–MERRY CHRISTMAS, COWBOY–in the book–A GIFT OF FAMILY–especially gave me such an opportunity. I picked a hero who had a past he didn’t care to remember–no cherished memories. And I gave him a heroine and some other characters, including two orphaned children, who showed him that even if the past didn’t provide good memories, the present and the future could.

It’s something I actively teach my family. Make good memories. Create warming traditions.

I think each family has its own special traditions. Do you have some you wish to share? Have you created new memories to replace past ones that aren’t warm and cozy?

***

The first book in Linda Ford’s The Cowboys of Eden Valley series is available now! Buy The Gift of Family to get Linda’s short story Merry Christmas, Cowboy. Her first full-length novel in the series is The Cowboy’s Surprise Bride, available January 2013 from Love Inspired Historical.

About the Book:

Merry Christmas, Cowboy by Linda Ford

A wild snowstorm strands Colt Johnson in Eden Valley, where the storekeeper’s daughter exudes welcome warmth. She’s even offered to give the two orphans in his charge a Christmas to remember. An outcast, Colt doesn’t dare hope for more—even though Becca’s love would be a Christmas wish come true.

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Comments ( 19 )
  1. LeeAnn
    October 3, 2012 at 8:10 am
    Reply

    This looks like a wonderful story. My childhood memories aren’t all that wonderful but when I had my boys, now 20 and 19,My husband and I made sure that all the holidays were wonderful.

  2. Pamela Hargarves
    October 3, 2012 at 8:22 am
    Reply

    This sounds like a great story and one I am sure I will enjoy very much. I have so many memories of wonderful holidays and I am continuing to make more as my family grows.

  3. Linda
    October 3, 2012 at 9:23 am
    Reply

    LeeAnn, It’s wonderful that you have made an effort to change things for your boys. Way to go.

  4. Linda
    October 3, 2012 at 9:25 am
    Reply

    Pamela, your’s sounds like a blessed life. I’m glad to hear that.

  5. Carol Ellmore
    October 3, 2012 at 9:41 am
    Reply

    I love your blog, my first husband (who is now deceased) used to pick up milk from dairy farms all over Delaware and Maryland and sometimes I would go with him. Fall was always a good time on the farms and they provided our family of 5 with so many foods from their farm for our Thanksgiving in our little county home in Pennsylvania. Your book sounds great, I have mostly read Amish books but would like to read it.

  6. Linda
    October 3, 2012 at 10:34 am
    Reply

    Carol, I think the Amish and historical settlers have a lot in common. I am blessed to still live on a farm with a big vegetable garden. We have a root cellar full of root vegetables, a freezer full of other produce plus jars of pickles. Sure makes winter eating nice. I expect you know that.

  7. Debora Dale
    October 3, 2012 at 11:05 am
    Reply

    What a beautiful post, Linda. You transported me into your warm and vivid memories.

    My Thanksgiving memories aren’t as clear as my other Holiday memories – or my Sunday morning memories. Both my mom and my grandmother would cook on those days and the aromas in the house filled the senses. There are times now when I’ll cook something and get a whiff that brings me back to that time. I have to close my eyes and smile because the memory feels like a soft, warm hug. Loved this post, Linda, and I love the sound of Merry Christmas Cowboy. Can’t wait to read it!

    ~Debbie

  8. Betty
    October 3, 2012 at 11:51 am
    Reply

    Linda, your stories look just wonderful and you are right, fond memories are so delightful to look back on.
    I was so fortunate to grow up on a ranch in Southern Alberta. As you have mentioned, it was indeed a race to get the harvest in the grain bins before old man winter showed his face. My Mom was an accomplished baker and there would be many a day when my brother and I would get off the school bus, walk up the drive way and come into the warmth of the kitchen to be greeted by the smell of fresh baked bread. I can close my eyes and still smell it today. Oh, we could not wait to dive into that bread! Mom would cut thick pieces and smother it with butter that would quickly melt. What a treat to come home to.
    During Thanksgiving, she would make the same home-made bread, pumpkin pie, little dinner buns, the best turkey dressing I have ever tasted!
    Even after all these years, I still cannot master the same amazing pie crust that my Mom did. She certainly made our house a ‘home’. I have many things to be thankful for and growing up with the parents I did is one of those I will never take for granted.

  9. Linda
    October 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm
    Reply

    Debbie, I love your description of how certain smells fill you with good feelings. Oh the comfort of food.

  10. Linda
    October 3, 2012 at 12:06 pm
    Reply

    Betty, what a wonderful treasure you shared with us. I can almost smell the fresh bread and feel the warmth and love of your home. I’m so glad you carry those memories with you.

  11. Margaret Daley
    October 3, 2012 at 12:43 pm
    Reply

    Your memories remind me of mine at our Thanksgivings. Love your cover on this book.
    Margaret

  12. Eva Maria Hamilton
    October 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm
    Reply

    Linda, I also live in Canada and am looking forward to turkey and family fun this weekend! I loved reading about your memories. Some are so precious! And I couldn’t agree more with “Make good memories. Create warming traditions.” Happy Thanksgiving! And to those outside Canada, I hope you’re enjoying autumn!!!

  13. Linda
    October 3, 2012 at 2:32 pm
    Reply

    Margaret,
    I agree. The cover is beautiful. That’s my hero and heroine in the story. And despite the snow, it has a warm and happy feel to it.

  14. Linda
    October 3, 2012 at 2:33 pm
    Reply

    Eva–or is it Eva Marie,

    I too am looking forward to the weekend. I am expecting a houseful of company. I might even find time to make some homemade pies.

  15. Eva Maria Hamilton
    October 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm
    Reply

    Sounds wonderful, Linda! Enjoy 🙂 And it’s Eva Maria 🙂

  16. lisa hicks
    October 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm
    Reply

    i am gonna start reading your books ill let you know what i think and im probally gonna love.. i haven’t read a harlequin i didnt like

  17. Deborah Hale
    October 4, 2012 at 5:57 am
    Reply

    Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, everyone! Thanks for the lovely blog post, Linda. I loved what you wrote about finding nuggets among our memories to warm us. Most of my best memories involve my close-knit extended family. We always got together for Thanksgiving at my uncle’s dairy farm in New Brunswick.
    Special thanks and prayers for all the farmers who work so hard to produce the food that sustains us!

  18. Linda
    October 4, 2012 at 9:08 am
    Reply

    Lisa,
    I look forward to your opinion on my book. I hope you’ll enjoy it. I had a lot of fun writing it.

  19. Linda
    October 4, 2012 at 9:10 am
    Reply

    Deborah,
    Happy Thanksgiving to you too. Thanks for your comments.

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