November 30, 2011

Giving Thanks

We had the best Thanksgiving Day I can remember. 

Our family of seven seems easier to shuffle through the bath & shower & get out the door these days.  We were still our usual few minutes late, but no more, and there was no mention of it.  No need for mention of it.
After a cold streak of zero-ish temps, it had warmed up.  We were thankful for a shining sun & a beautiful 50 degree day.   

With both of my sisters' husbands now working in the mining industry, and my brother's job at a nuclear power plant, our family gatherings are effected in a new way by shift work & odd schedules: it's been harder to get everyone together.
16 of 19 of us were able to share Thanksgiving dinner together.
It was - as always- a delicious feast with all the fixings.
One thing I think was noticed by all, was that it may have been the first meal since grandchildren started arriving (sixteen years ago!) that we all sat, and never got up to clean spills, fill plates or cups, tend to babies, etc.  We sat, ate, had conversation, & enjoyed our meal at a casual pace.  It was nice.
Dessert was, too.

Then, what made the day wonderful to me, was that we went for a walk.  My mom, Heather, Kristy, Kailie, Johnathan, Lilly, Beau, Jaegar, Jacie & I, (and Angus, the dog)  set out to walk off a little of the feast we'd enjoyed.  The term "power walk" had been proposed. 
But it turned into a more meaningful, leisurely walk, taking in all that was around us, kids gathering nature bouquets of dried weeds, looking closer, exploring & examining.
We kept right on walking & exploring for a couple of hours.  Into the woods & around the field.  Saw plenty of antler rubs on trees.  Gathered pockets full of pine cones & other treasures.
There was a certain kind of quality shared.
It was my kind of day.
I only wish I'd had my camera along to capture all that silky milkweed seed flying through the air & sticking to everyone in the golden afternoon light.

What else made this Thanksgiving special was that it was the first in my life that we roasted marshmallows.  I don't ever remember a Thanksgiving as mild, or laid back enough, to take time for a small fire & a few marshmallows for the kids after dark.
 
I'm thankful for days like these.   Days when the fun & quality far surpass the amount of dirty dishes washed. 
I'm thankful for the simple things, like milkweed, fresh air & laughter. 
For happy children, full of energy & good health, & kind, creative, curious minds.
I'm thankful for a family that is at ease together & where getting together is always the goal.

Johnathan listed what he is thankful for on the tail feathers of a construction paper turkey he made:  
My family.
Deer. 
My friends.
Animals.
My house.

Lilly whipped out drawings & cut-outs of turkeys left & right for all.   One evening she taped four sheets of paper together & made a giant turkey, then punched a pipe cleaner hanger through the top.
We brought it along to hang over our Thanksgiving meal at Grand & Grampa's.  
For some reason I only have a photo of Beau displaying Lilly's turkey:
Beau, bless him, says he's glad-est for me.  
He writes our names together now, MOM & Beau.  I love it.
Being a mom gives me reason to be thankful every day.

Tuckered out at the end of our Thanksgiving day:

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