As I noted a couple years ago, friends Shari and Dick host a unique Thanksgiving gathering every year. Rather than cramming everyone into the dining room, dinner is served “under the hemlocks” – out in the woods that are part of their farm.

While I’ve been greatly enjoying these dinners for seven years, yesterday’s was particularly memorable because it came less than 12 hours after a major storm left us with about 10 inches of new snow. Thanks to the hard work of Shari, Dick and their friends, the dinner went off without a hitch. In fact, the new snow added a special something to the atmosphere.

While the plentiful snow was different this year, other traditions continued: at about 1:00 everyone gathered in a big circle and sang the Shaker hymn “Simple Gifts,” which was then followed by a wonderful full-course dinner. Afterwards people gathered around the two working fires for warmth and conversation. At some point the satiated guests started heading back out of the woods. Those of us who lingered until after dark found an added benefit from the recent snow: it was much easier to follow the road in the luminescent darkness.

Here are a few photos from the day.

The Shaker melody “Simple Gifts” is a perfect song for a Thanksgiving celebration. It is also fitting because the Shakers had several of their earliest American settlements in the area.

All photographs are © Dave Higgins and “Dave Higgins Photography,” 2014; all rights reserved.

Advertisements