As Thanksgiving weekend winds up, I have been thinking of all the many things that I am truly, deeply grateful for. There are many things, and I am not even going to attempt to touch on them all in a meagre blog post. But I will share how we celebrated this weekend, and a few things related to how we spent our time that I am quieted to the core of my soul because of gratitude.
As I have done the past few years, I offered to host Thanksgiving dinner at my house. I do love having everyone over, choosing the menu, organizing the meal and having a few adventures along the way. But as Thanksgiving weekend got closer and closer, I found I was not up to my usual enthusiasm for the task. I am not sure why, other than I just came out of a few busy weekends and the fact that the start up of school year schedules is always an adjustment. So with a week remaining before the holiday I decided to plead to with my mom and see if she would do it. Without batting an eye, or a hint of a sigh, she said she would host. I agreed to bring a mango salad. End of story. Let me now insert one of the things I am thankful for this weekend!
MY MOM! For the reason listed above and so many others! Anytime I need a willing accomplice or support, she is there. She keeps the home fires burning, and a pot of tea warm. She is amazing.
I was relieved, and knew that things were in more than competent hands. Mom figured that since my dad's sister was now moved back in the area, and my uncle harvesting that it would work out just fine, and maybe even better than fine!
I talked to Mom a few days before we came out and learned that we were going to have Thanksgiving dinner in my uncle's field. This is something we have done only once before, that I can remember. But it was memorable, if you know what I mean. I love all the holidays that bring our family together but for me, they can blend together. There is a comfort in that predictability, that sameness, the same cast of characters etc, but all the events blend together in a way and each holiday does not always have it's own distinct memory. Except the years when we do something completely different. Like the time we held Thanksgiving dinner out at the lake, on the deck celebrating in some astounding fall weather. Like the time mom and dad deep-fryed the turkey. Most times my aunt and uncle come (my dad's sister and brother-in-law), even if it is brief as they are in the middle of harvest and don't get off their tractors until they can't see anymore. Once we decided to bring dinner to the field, and despite the fact that the neighbour was spreading manure on his field, it was one of our more memorable Thanksgiving get togethers. I was pleased to be doing this again, so this time my daughter could experience it too! Cue another thing I am grateful for:
This scene! As we were driving into the field laden with coolers filled with ham, mashed potatoes and salad, in a truck pulling the trailer that was to be our table, I was bursting full of wonder that this is how I get to celebrate Thanksgiving. Right in the middle of a harvest. Never mind that the bales are for cows... Who gets to do this???? Am I not incredibly lucky?
The kids busied themselves with climbing the bales, and the rest of us set about feasting and visiting. My one cousin, who now lives in a suburb, was baling on the field and stopped to join us. My other cousin, who is a farmer, was out with my uncle rounding up his escaped cows and got home just in time to eat. My aunt came with the turkey, gravy and stuffing. It was a wonderful meeting!
That leads me to the final thing I am grateful for as expressed in this post, but certainly not all, or even close to all that I appreciate!!!! My Cousins!
I am sure they would be embarrassed to see this, but I am going to say it anyway. We don't really get together outside of big family gatherings, but to me it does not matter. I suffered childhood with these guys telling me what a brat I was, scrapping with them all the time, trying to keep up with them and be accepted by them- young enough to be a nuisance, but not as small as my sister to be accommodated because of an age difference. But it was these guys who kept an eye on who I dated in high school, who watched over my well being in a gruff kind of way even into university. Its funny the things we don't talk about- I don't know how they vote, how they feel about religion or any other typically divisive topic and it does not matter. But I do know that they are in my corner, as I am in theirs. And I love that time and distance don't diminish those feelings!
I am not bragging when I say that I feel incredibly grateful for this life! I just am, and I would be grateful to hear about the things you appreciate in your life...