Thanksgiving has generally always been my favorite Holiday as an adult, because it is all about being with family and/or friends, and enjoying a hearty meal. Not like today’s Christmas madness, which I have come to abhor so much that I don’t even want to participate. Black Friday shopping? Are you kidding me? There is nothing in the entire universe that I want badly enough to be compelled to take part in that either.
When my kids were small, my Mother-in-Law always insisted on Thanksgiving at her house. Along with every other Holiday. Our oldest was about ten years old before I bucked the system and we had our first one at home. It was so much fun to set the table with centerpiece, candles, chargers, napkins, and Grandma’s china. We invited a family from our church, and it became a tradition for a little while after that, until one year when we didn’t manage to connect in time to plan it, and the other family already had out-of-state plans. Since then we have been out of touch, though I think about them every year at this time.
We only had one Thanksgiving at my parent’s house in WV, as adults with kids of our own. We pretty much catered it via a local family-owned supermarket and brought most of the meal with us when we came.
Mom used to do all of that on her own when we were young. Sometimes we had grandparents or other guests, but I remember the hot kitchen, and all those dishes! Mom’s kitchen was a galley, so there really was not space for the kind of “everybody pitching in” kind of cooking marathon you see in television commercials.
The thing I remember most about Thanksgiving, as well as Christmas, were the meals we shared at church with our church family.
We would be sitting in the sanctuary, and half-way through the sermon, all of the women would start to get up and make their way to the fellowship hall. The aromas were torture, and stomachs audibly growled such that I don’t think anyone heard much of what the preacher said.
I remember the church kids everywhere. It was a little like the Amish, as far as everyone looking out for everyone else’s kids, and spread out all over the property of that rural church.
I remember when ground was broken for that church. Mom says I was probably two years old. But what I recall was parking in a grassy field on one side of the road, and crossing over that road to the church property. I remember nothing else about the “ceremony” and in fact did not even know what that memory was about, until a Homecoming a few years back, when I saw photos of that day. Then I realized hey, what do you know? I was here for that.
It constitutes a continuity few kids today have ever experienced. Families get smaller and more spread out in the world every day. Young adults think nothing at all about hopping on a plane and going to the other side of the world as if it’s nothing more than a drive to the next town over. Of course, I did similar as a teen. It was a matter of “not knowing what you don’t know”, so ignorance is bliss. It is good to encourage kids to be adventuresome when they are young, because most will learn fear and intimidation soon enough.
I look forward to that aspect of our Heavenly Home. Aside from being “young again”, I look forward to newness. New experiences, new things to learn and do.
On this Thanksgiving, our older son is stationed in Hawaii. We hope to Skype later. I’ve never done that. I don’t know why we hadn’t been doing it all along. We miss him terribly. His leave to come home for Christmas was cancelled for his leadership training he had been waiting on so he can move up to Sergeant. But it will be nice to see him in the New Year whenever he can come, and hopefully stay longer than a week.
I am thankful for my Salvation. I’m thankful for my husband and two great sons. I’m thankful for the things we got to do to the house this year, all of our (relatively, in my case) good health, and having all of our needs met. I am so humbled by the fact that I got to be born in this nation. I am thankful for all of the folks I have interacted with through this blog, who have prayed for me, and encouraged me. I am thankful for heat that works on cold days, glasses that help me see, medicines that take away pain, sunshine here today, peace and safety for the most part, thus far on the journey, and the blessed hope in my heart for a different life than this one, that grows closer every day and hour.