Every year during the holidays I try to make sure that I have a piece of "New Ground" pie in memory of my grandfather. For the majority of you who haven't heard the term before I'm talking about pumpkin pie. But Grandpa never called it that. To him it was a pie made from one of the few crops that would grow in a field which had been cleared of its timber, but not yet cleared of the stumps and roots. "New ground" they called it.
We use the expression "breaking new ground" from time to time, but I wonder if some folks even know what that means. From the time he could work a field, he plowed new ground all over Northeast Arkansas, dynamiting stumps, and carrying off chunks. Clearing the fields as he went. Later in life, when he was surrounded by his family and having that piece of New Ground pie at Thanksgiving or Christmas, I believe it served as a reminder of all that he had accomplished and everything he was thankful for.
My grandfather has been gone for a decade and I'd love to sit and talk to him one more time if only to have him repeat the many things he told me that I either didn't write down or that I wasn't paying attention to. Too often we let our family histories slip away because we don't take the time to ask questions and listen. As your family gathers during the holidays, ask your grandparents to share their stories over a cup of coffee and maybe a piece of New Ground Pie. It will make a great holiday memory and help preserve their legacy.
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