Today isn’t my traditional house and heart crammed to the brim with family, then emptied in a whoosh when they leave, kind of Thanksgiving Day.
I’m not even cooking. Oh, I baked a couple pies—cherry, my husband’s favorite—but that hardly counts. There are no grandchildren crowding the kitchen or sleeping on mats on the floor. The foyer isn’t dotted with sneakers. There are no piles of dishes to wash.
Instead, for nearly two weeks, this year’s Thanksgiving season has offered me an extension of thankful moments. It has scattered me with pleasures, even if they took time and fuel to make happen.
It began a week ago Monday with a trip to the dentist. (3 hour drive) My brother-in-law did the honors. Afterward, a lunch with my husband and his two sisters gave us a lovely chance to catch up.
That same evening, I drove to my youngest daughter’s home where I soaked in three of my grandchildren’s hugs and enjoyed time with her and her husband in the midst of their busy lives. (5 hour drive)
On Friday I headed home, leaving behind a birthday girl with a room freshly painted. I love to help make dreams come true.
Saturday, I waited with my son for his girlfriend to arrive from her college. (9 hour drive) Long distance relationships are tough, and he was one happy guy when she came through the door. Made my heart happy too.
Sunday, I cooked. Thankful I’m still able.
Monday, through a clean November day of sunshine and blue sky, my husband and I drove (3.5 hours) to our spot in the mountains we call The Eighty-Five. Car travel provides a captive audience and we were both thankful for in-depth talk time. We used these questions for (rather late) starters: 13 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married
Once on The Eighty-Five, my oldest daughter and her two boys were able to break away from their visit with other family to join us and eat what I had cooked on Sunday. (9 hours from their home, plus 3 for the day with us).
Those grandsons are growing up way too fast and live way too far away. We hiked the fields. I lost my cell phone. We hunted. We prayed. God used our neighbor to answer that prayer. I offered more than scattered thanks.
Today, my son is at his girlfriend’s. My two cherry pies are being finished off here at my step-daughter’s place. Her dad and I are helping ourselves to someone else’s cooking. Her home is full. It’s all good. It’s family.
Tomorrow, I’ll cook. Some. Maybe.
Saturday, I’ll get to see my sister. (She travels by bus, then the metro. 12 hours?) My sista!
Kids move out. Parents die. Grandchildren are born. Adjustments are made. Traditions, stretched out and scattered around, are often done upside-down. That’s the way life is and, with my heart crammed to the brim, I give thanks.
How has God helped you adjust to changes in family tradition?
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Ps. 106:1