A Well-known Storyteller, Author and Inspirational Speaker

November at the Johnson Place

I set my mind to happily remember

How it was at our home every November.

By then the frosty mornings freeze the nose

You hear a sighing in the wind that blows.

The cellar house hangs high the herbal treasure

And corn field beans are there for winter pleasure.

Dried apples are removed from thread and packed

Safely in the bags that Mother made they’re sacked.

Hams and shoulders are in smokehouse smoking

Buried in salt the other parts are soaking.

Although the zero weather we expect

It cannot touch our food supply; it is checked

In kiln, on excelsior beds it’s found—

All rutabagas, turnips, parsnips underground

With sweet potatoes, also, in the bed,

And, by the way, our cabbages by the head,

Were fully protected from the cold and snow

By plowing furrow, straw-lined,stalks aloft to show!

We buried the cabbage heads for Mother’s slaw,

For soup, or just a pot of cabbage, or eat it raw!

Potatoes and corn bread with it! What a treat!

Sorghum molasses, pickled beans, sauerkraut to eat!

This is why the Johnson’s celebrated in November

For snow and ice would follow in December.

There were wooden chests of apples we could munch,

And take to school to share when we had lunch.

A wooden box held Dutch onions large, the flavor bold,

But my father said “Eat onions and ward off a cold!”

Hundreds and hundreds of Mason fruit jars lined the shelves,

And we canned the fruits and vegetables grown ourselves.

November we gathered round the fire.The harvest is in.

The walnuts, hazelnuts, and pop corn are in the bin.

It’s time for blazing logs, for games and story

Thanksgiving has arrived in all its glory!

                                                   Maxine Johnson Bersch-Lovern

                                                   Nov. 9, 2014

One Response to “November at the Johnson Place”

  1. Alicia Templeton says:

    What a beautiful poem! I enjoyed meeting you today. Happy Holidays!

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