Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving


I love Thanksgiving. At my house growing up it was bigger than Christmas. We would always go to my maternal grandmother's house. My brother and I would watch the parades while she basted the turkey, made the cornbread dressing and all the "fixins". Her sister would arrive with her family (her 3 children, their spouses, and collectively their 7 children). The house would be filled with the sounds of young cousins giggling, older cousins catching up on the gossip, and sisters laughing in the kitchen. No one could laugh like my Ma and Aunt Ene. (oh I miss hearing that laughter!) The men (my Dad and my Grandaddy and sometimes the hired help if they were single men) would come in from the fields since cotton harvest was often still going on. We would all sit down to eat. More food than was needed to feed a small nation. We were blessed. If the fields could wait all the guys would head out to hunt quail (this would be tomorrow's dinner instead of leftovers if we were lucky). Late into the evening aunt and uncle and all the cousins would pile into their cars to head home. We didn't do anything extraordinary, we just gathered and shared and gave thanks. And in my mind that is how Thanksgiving is supposed to be.

My husband and I live thousands of miles from *home* now. It's not even a holiday here in England (my DH has been at work since 730 and won't get home until after 6). My grandparents and their siblings are gone. The cousins have dispersed across the country. But I still long for those huge family gatherings. So tonight our house will be filled. Our pastor and his wife, his two grown daughters, his son-in-law and (maybe?)son-in-law to be, his two grandchildren, our youth minister and his wife and his three children will join my family for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. And we have much to be thankful for. But right this moment I'm thankful that I can carry on my grandmother's traditions. I miss her more on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year.

142. memories of Thanksgiving with Ma and Grandad and all the family
143. memories of Aunt Ene's laughter
144. memories of seminary Thanksgivings with Julia
145. memories of a Thanksgiving wedding
146. cooking lessons from two grandmas who loved to cook
147. Ma's cornbread dressing
148. Mashed potatoes and giblet gravy
149. Crescent rolls dripping with butter
150. Turkey roasting in the oven
151. pumpkin pies on the cabinet
152. pecan pies on the cabinet
153. baking pies with the girls
154. spilled milk
155. delight in Flower's eyes as she tasted the batter
156. intensity in Jewel's eyes as she sets about "getting it right"
157. pride on their faces as they look at what we've done
158. the blessing of having more than we could possibly eat
159. 17 friends and family gathering around the table
160. grocery delivery
161. hot showers
162. autumn breezes
163. my cup of English tea
164. delicious aromas filling the house
165. making memories for my girls
166. gathering for Bible study
167. the confidence that God can handle my questions
168. the time I spend with God looking for answers
169. the growth as I grapple with the questions
170. the joy as God answers my questions
171. the gentleness of his answer...even when the answer is harsh
172. memory verses to transform me
173. sermons to challenge me
174. Godly dreams for the future
175. anticipation
176. more to come....


Wendell said...

Blessings my friend!

Anonymous said...

Your entry made me smile....wish I could be there. Happy Thanksgiving my friend, I'm so thankful for you in my life.

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving dear friend! So glad that even thousands of miles from home, you have a wonderful "family" of friends to gather around you :)

Tina said...

What a beautiful post! Made me grin thinking about it. I hope you have a wonderful dinner!

Jen said...

Memories last forever :)
pleased your having friends over tonight
hope you all have a lovely time

Anonymous said...

What wonder memories you have. Glad you still do Thanksgiving even though it's not a holiday there and that you have others over to share the meal with you.