Yesterday was Thanksgiving in the United States.
We had Thanksgiving dinner at our house–with all the local family present…Mother, son and grandson, daughter and son-in-law, and grandson and new granddaughter-in-law. I had decided that I wanted to do most of the cooking this year, and one of the things that made it possible was that I was able to take all week off of work (I had some vacation I needed to use or I would lose it).
So…Wednesday I got several of the dishes ready…cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, dressing, and sweet potatoes. All I had to do with them Thursday was put the marshmallows on the sweet potatoes–and then bake the ones that needed baking.
Thursday morning was putting the turkey in at 7:00…then setting the table, and getting the green salad ready…baking the casseroles and the mashed potatoes…and waiting for the rolls, pumpkin and pecan pies to arrive with other family members.
We had everything ready for eating at 2:00–and asked my 87-year-old mother to offer the blessing…not just on the food, but for our gathering.
While the food was delicious, what was more important was the fellowship. We shared family stories, initiated the new member of the family into our tradition of hand-knit Christmas stockings, played several games of bowling with the Wii–including getting the matriarch to bowl a game (and she bowled a respectable 124!)….
We were–and are–truly blessed. Our family members all like each other, and we live close enough that the immediate family can get together at these special times. But even more than that, we are blessed to live in a country where we can feel safe…where we have freedom to gather…
And so…as we shared together–and were also aware of the news coming out of both Bangkok and Mumbai–we realized again the blessings that are ours…and give thanks.