THANKSGIVING MEMORIES

It is Sunday afternoon now and the house is very quiet – something it has not been since Tuesday evening when the first of our family arrived for the Thanksgiving weekend. Jerry and I have just returned from church and then dropping our oldest son at Union Station for his train back to New York. His wife left yesterday to be with her mother who is recovering from surgery and lives south of us in Virginia. It is a rainy, cloudy day which is very conducive to reflection and an attack of the lazies. Jerry has suggested we take a walk in about an hour. We strive to be faithful to getting our “steps” in on a daily basis – very important for seniors – but after five days of trying facilitate a smooth family gathering of making sure the fridge is well stocked and that all coming in from out of town have a place to sleep, I definitely am feeling not so into our normal exercise schedule.

We are very blessed in family and we do not that for granted. Both Jerry and I come from loving homes. There may have been a time when I was not as conscious of those who were not so family blessed, but that ended abruptly about 45 years ago. I was doing the post Thanksgiving replenishing of groceries and starting to stock up for all the company we would be having in December. Our five children were home with their Dad. l was enjoying the Christmas music the grocery store was blaring out. Frequently I had the children with me on grocery outings so this was this was quite fun for me to be able to take my time and to check out some of the new items the store was promoting. And then I rounded the corner into the canned food aisle where there was a woman staring at the stocked shelves and crying. She was probably the age I am now but at the time I thought she as very old. I immediately swung into my nurse mode and stood next to her and asked ” Are you OK – is there anything I can do”? She looked at me through her tears and said, ” I hate that music – it reminds me of what I don’t have any more”. I squeezed her hand and I moved on – I didn’t know what to say. At times of great blessings I bring up that memory. I never want to take what we have for granted!!!

These past five days have been so much fun. Wednesday night we had twenty for dinner and Thanksgiving day we were twenty nine in number. Friday night we dined at the home of our oldest daughter and her husband and our numbers increased to 31. Saturday we were back here and the number was twenty five. I only mention the numbers because I think it is so impressive that the food was down right yummy. And that is quite an accomplishment with such numbers! Cooking for these occasions is a team effort and the team members are very gifted and artistic as they cater to various food likes and dislikes. And a new feature this year was a very thorough clean up crew. Jerry and I were very appreciative.

There is so much that could be said about this Thanksgiving but what I like to focus on is the sharing by each person of what they are most thankful for. I was very touched by the words of those at what we call the adult table and was hoping that this scene would be duplicated at the grandchildren table of middle school/ high school/ college/ grad school / working folks. When dinner was over and we gathered for dessert I asked how the conversation had gone at the grandchildren table – the first time we had put together these various group. I was so touched to learn that they also had a sharing of their special blessings for the past year and the comments were that it had gone very well. When I thanked the granddaughter who had promoted this sharing she said ” but of course grandma – I knew that is what you would want us to do” . I was humbly grateful!!!

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