“The adults sat around and caught up on all the family news while the kids played games or even football if the weather was agreeable. Sometimes someone would pull out a checker board or even monopoly or chess. It was really entertaining watching the teen boys trying to figure out who would do what in the chess game. They’d end up playing the winner and the competition could go on for hours.
“The teen girls and my aunts would all help in the kitchen until the meal was done. Of course every one brought something to share even with all the “fixin’s” Grandma would prepare. And then the desert! Oh my goodness! There were pies of every description, brownies, cookies, and there were even times we actually made homemade ice cream. It made for a long day, but it was awesome!
“We don’t do that anymore,” she lamented. “And what’s sad is as an adult with children and grandchildren of my own, I’m not seeing that tradition continued. Oh sure, those who live close come to eat, but not until most of the meal is finished being prepared. The kids, instead of playing with each other, watch TV, and then there is football. It’s all changed. After dinner and the kitchen is cleaned up, we share desert and then everyone goes home. The house is left empty and sad.”
I related to my friend’s story. My own children are spread across the United States. It’s difficult getting all of them together in one place for any holiday! So I am especially thankful I have two of my five children and three of my fifteen grandchildren close to share Thanksgiving.
Early in the day the grandchildren come in to watch the parade on TV while their momma and I work on dinner. My oldest son, husband and son-in-law are usually outside doing “guy” stuff, while waiting for football to come on after the parade. When we gather around the table, we hold hands to say grace and with thankful hearts ask for blessing on the food.
We, like my friend, lament the missing siblings and families, but are thankful they remain part of our lives. We recall times and share stories at the Thanksgiving dinner table of when they were small, some silly and some serious. We’re grateful for our one grandson who is in the military and pray for his safety and our son-in-law who protects us as a police officer. We are appreciative for all those within our family, close by and many miles away, both immediate relatives and distant ones who, by design, are part of our lives as loved ones.
We are also thankful for all those people who have touched our lives, whether directly or indirectly and caused a smile. We are thankful for a country where we can worship and teach our children respect, morals and the meaning of love, life and family. This is what our Thanksgiving holiday should be.
I am also, thankful for YOU! I am grateful you choose to read my words and make my work worthwhile. Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!