Thursday, December 17, 2015

Thanks for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was a week long celebration this year as some of our precious family arrived the Sunday before the holiday.  For hubby and me the celebration began with preparation, weeks before the out-of-staters arrived--the cleaning, the baking, the special requests for each one's favorite foods, the toys and activities to fit each age group, the Christmas gifts wrapped and ready to go back with them, and our hearts ready to enjoy each unique personality and presence.

The five early travelers from Florida managed to sneak in beautifully between snowy roads and enough snow left for the kids to take the sled out.  Their presence and help before the big day event was like opening the one gift allowed on Christmas Eve, satisfying, but heightening the anticipation of the more-to-come excitement.

Thanksgiving Eve brought in two more carloads of sweet faces to kiss, bags to deposit in the bedrooms not yet taken, baby gear and toys, and teen's back pockets bulging with electronics. Malteses, Cozette and Neo, also bounded in to add to our joyous mix.

Day one and two were all about the food.  Engineers in the kitchen chugged through recipes while I conducted the transport of ingredients to each creation station, helping to keep things on track for the scrumptious spread of food the holiday requires. Last minute prep for a Thanksgiving feast is quite the feat and only the chef in charge feels the pressure.  In the midst of those moments I also tried to gather the gaggle of relatives together for a family photo shoot. How great to have a son-in-law who is a photographer! The weather cooperated fantastically to take the shots outside.  New-fangled technology allowed Emmanuel to set up his camera on a chosen spot and sync it with his phone app so he could leisurely walk into his place in the picture while we all hoped to smile at the same moment he made the camera wink at us.

As we next took our places around the long table set up in the spacious garage, we offered a psalm and thanksgiving to the God who has given us such rich bounty to enjoy and share. The serving dishes quickly emptied.  Everyone helped with clean up before the trytophan set in; it wasn't long before adults were draped over easy chairs in lazy conversations.

Our togetherness continued throughout the weekend--Black Friday shopping, football games for some and plenty of card games.  Then grand kid time of course, with stories, Racko games and holding babies.

The Florida entourage left Saturday morning.  Papa and I took the teen grands to see Mary Poppins; an early Christmas gift to them. By mid-morning Sunday the last carload had driven away and hubby and I breathed in the quiet.  As I gathered up towels, and sheets off of beds, I made a pile of things left behind-one lone black sock, one boy hoodie and one husband ring.

Memories will linger; it was a celebration to hold dear.


Father, thank you for creating family.  What the enemy has worked hard to destroy through internal dysfunction and discord, or brokenness, or by trying to replace sacred components with unholy substitutes, you continue to heal, restore, renew and reward the families who seek after you. Our times together confirm your work in us and assures that your faithfulness to family continues to all generations.

But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children—  Psalms 103:17

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