We are on the home stretch to Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'm not sure which holiday we will host, if either.

We are on the home stretch to Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'm not sure which holiday we will host, if either.

But, if we do host one, you can be sure there will be turkey on the menu. I can't imagine no turkey for Thanksgiving because it has such a history with American feasts. I might put in a plug for the Friends of the Neosho National Fish Hatchery's new cookbook. One recipe is from Dave Hendrix and it's for stuffing and it sounds great. The cookbook is expected to be for sale on Nov. 15. Why not get two and give one for a Christmas gift. The price is $8 per book.

We made a trip to Florida a couple of weeks ago and throughout the South there were farmers selling sweet potatoes. They parked along the roads with their truck beds full of sweet potatoes. Along some roads, there was a farmer sitting every two or three miles. I have no idea what they were selling them for, but it was nice to see such enterprising people creating their own businesses.

There were a lot of rice fields along the way. I don't understand rice cropping very well, but it's always good to see something different. We saw dozens and dozens of pecan groves. A well-kept pecan grove is a beautiful thing and we saw many of them.

As you might guess, one of our favorite things to do on vacation is look at the landscape and appreciate the hard work of the American farmers. The week we were out, there was much field activity as farmers on big tractors were working their ground.

Even though travel brochures hype the "sun, sand and surf," there are other activities along the beach. We didn't get to see the fishing boats coming and going, but every restaurant features "the catch of the day" on their menus. You had to ask what the fishermen were catching that day.

The fisherman on the piers and along the shore, both in the ocean and in the bays, were busy casting their lines. We went to the pier at Narvarre Beach several times and watched people fishing off the high pier. This pier is one of the longest in the Gulf of Mexico. You can only walk on the pier (no motor vehicles allowed) although you can take a cart to haul your rods, equipment and your catch. The carts were in varying sizes and configuration. It was much like golfers with their carts, only the carts were larger and more interesting.

On the pier, I like to stand above the spot where the ocean meets the shore. You can watch shells being washed up and see seabirds hunting for a morsel from the sea. The pier is a great place to bird watch, people watch and nature watch. I was quite taken with the rays and sea turtles that could be spotted once in a while.

We had a good trip but we're always glad to be home.

Kay Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.