Thanksgiving. That time of year to give thanks, yes? At least, that is what the title suggests we should do on this day. Thanks. Giving.
I think the world might be slightly better if we all gave thanks, every day. Many of us already have our own self-help routines going, whatever it may be. The things we do every day to make ourselves better. Whether it is a physical exercise routine, meditation, a special diet, morning coffee, reading current events, chocolate anything, vitamins, …. .. whatever … we all have a something.
Maybe we could make gratitude a part of that routine. You know, first thing in the morning, just reflect on 5 things you are thankful for. Anything. Shoestrings. Candlewicks. Garbage Trucks. Saltine Crackers. Lightbulbs. OR, you could scale it up to more personal things. No matter. Just taking time to think about little things which make our world better, and being thankful for them.
This time of year just reminds us, I suppose.
I can remember Thanksgiving preparations at our house when I was very young. Mom seemed to have it down to a science by the time I rolled around. She would shop and prepare and fix, like it was second nature to her. The evening before she did little things.
Like she would tear up a bunch of white bread, and let it sit out all night in the roaster pan. In the early morning, she would beat about a million eggs, and use chicken stock, and salt and pepper, and LOTS of butter. She would mix up a huge gooey mess and stuff that big bird. She’d grab it by its hind leg, so the thing wouldn’t get away, and fill that turkey full. I loved to watch her stuff the bird.
I’m not sure how she would do it. But, at just the right moment, it seemed she had it all coming out of the oven, exactly on time. The aromas which filled the house gave us fair warning what was on the way. The mashed potatoes, the stuffing, the rolls, the corn, the gravy, the turkey. And most amazingly, the perfectly cylindrical form of cranberry sauce, all jiggly and wiggly in its bowl. We would each carry a dish of something to the table.
Then, we would all gather around that dining room table, with all the leaves pulled out. It was always adorned with a polyester tablecloth which almost fit, one that Mom had stitched herself. But there we were. The all of us. Sometimes 15 or more. And we would feast, and rave, and gobble, and praise some more. We would eat and eat and eat, until there was no room left in our bellies for anymore. And every year it would all be the same, in its warmth, and goodness, and love.
I have it all in my mind.
I’ll never be able to sit down at that table again. Not even once. My Mom is gone. My Dad is gone. And I miss the every bit of those Thanksgiving Days.
Now I have a different table.
I am eternally thankful for them both.
They were all on my list this morning.
“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”
― John F. Kennedy
“Every once in a while God allows you to stub your toe as a kind reminder to be grateful for the miraculous body attached to it.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway
“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”
― G.K. Chesterton