How Many Chairs?
Chris and Dean Blackhurst have raised 10 children – 7 girls and 3 boys, and they have 30 grandchildren. This year, all but one of their children is headed home for the holiday and Chris is trying to figure out just how many chairs they will need to celebrate together. Like so many American Families, the Blackhursts view Thanksgiving as a chance to bring the family together, share stories, share food, and enjoy each other. In addition to the Thanksgiving dinner staples, (turkey, yams, mashed potatoes…) Chris makes chicken stuffing, a recipe passed down from her mother that has become an annual tradition. Though the Blackhursts recently moved their dairy from Lindon to Nephi, home isn’t so much a specific location as it is a feeling, and that is what keeps bringing everyone back.
And the dairy is definitely a family labor of love. Dean farms 200 acres of cropland, and their daughter Sheila, with a masters degree in Animal Reproduction, keeps track of the details on the farm. Sheila’s husband has a degree in Animal Nutrition and the two are a great pair when it comes to caring for the animals and maintaining a healthy herd of dairy cows. Chris and Dean have two sons who have done a lot of work on the farm. One son built the four beautiful homes that adorn the property and another, known as the “fix-it-guy,” not only keeps things in working order but is a skilled iron craftsman and has ornamental pieces surrounding the property.
So as Chris makes her final count and sets out the chairs for this year’s feast, she will have the help and support of her husband, her children, and her grandchildren. Even without the chicken stuffing, this support is the key ingredient for a happy and persevering family…this is Thanksgiving at Cedar Ridge Farms.