Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving blessings

Ahh.... Thanksgiving. A time to be thankful, be with friends and family, and generally stuff yourself. It's also the beginning of the "season of traditions". You know - "my family does it like this..." or "When I was a kid we did this and I want it to be like that for our kids". For new families it is one of the times of greatest stress because each person wants exactly what they want which leaves very little room for their equal partner to have things just the way they want.

Our First Thanksgiving together we didn't really spend together. While we were largely inseparable, we didn't actually live together. She went to her aunt's house and I went with my family. We spoke on the phone a few times during the day of but didn't see each other until that evening.

For our second Thanksgiving we were living together and Kandi came to my family's Thanksgiving celebration. Though the idea of having all the family together was certainly right up her alley, almost none of the food felt like "Thanksgiving" to her. So, she called her family back in Ohio and got them to explain over the phone to her everything that she would need to make a Thanksgiving meal. The next day, when we should have been out enjoying the crush of fellow shoppers, we made Kandi's Thanksgiving. Rather than make a big turkey she did Cornish hens, cornbread dressing, baked macaroni and cheese, and greens. All from scratch. All amazing. Something I was just reminded of this year - she had never made any of these items before, but it was important to her to have them - so she did them. I was impressed.

By Thanksgiving #3 we had a house that we'd rented together and we decided to have family and friends over to our house. I remember we used our dining room table, 2 card tables and 2 TV Trays pushed together. They had already learned that when Kandi cooked - it was an event not to be missed. Kandi fried the turkey in the backyard, we did a coke and brown sugar ham, her Grandmother's cornbread dressing, baked macaroni and cheese, greens with a smokey ham hock, potato salad and her Grandmother's famous pound cake for dessert. And was it ever a hit!!! The turkey was gone so fast I didn't even get a serving. One of my brothers made his second plate almost completely macaroni and cheese and even though he doesn't eat pork, he ate the heck out of those greens. By the end of that meal our new family tradition was set. Kandi makes her "standards" and friends and family bring over their pot-luck sides.

Most years we have had 12-18 people but somehow this year we have a tiny group. Just 9 folks are expected here. We haven't had "single digits" ever before. Ever. But while our numbers are fewer, our food is still big. :) Sure, she cut back on making quite so many pans of dressing and mac and cheese (though she still knew to make 2 pans with my brothers coming...) we still have a ton of options. Everyone can be stuffed and we'll still have a gob of leftovers. Our guest list may be small but our food and thanks are plenty. We've had many blessings this year.

While I may be unemployed now - we are ever so thankful for the temporary job I had last year. Not only did that keep us going as a household it also helped bring a full time job to Aunt Patti and a part time job to Kandi. Little did I know that many of the dollars earned at that part time job were going to the beautiful diamond ring on my hand right now. While we have family that is still struggling to embrace that "the greatest of these is love", we are so thankful for the friends and family and neighbors and practical strangers who have shared love and tears of joy when hearing of our engagement. Those special moments and conversations have filled our hearts in ways you might never have realized.

We are thankful to have almost accidentally found an amazing church filled with history, stained glass, traditions and so much love it's just about bursting from the seams. We've been going about 4 years now and since most of the congregation are senior citizens we've seen our numbers drop more and more each year. That said, they give us hope every Sunday. When celebrating a congregant's 90th birthday last month and seeing pictures of he and his wife when they were barely in their 20's - we saw what we hope to be. Each person is so special to us, and knowing that even in this traditional congregation our love is so embraced and celebrated by folks who came from a generation or two ahead of us is something we never could have imagined - and yet now can't imagine being without.

We are thankful for Pastor Barb who asked us to be the first Holy Union for the church. It touched us more than you will know. Your sermons both inspire us and make us think. We couldn't have any one else lead us on our special day.

And of course - we are thankful for each other. No one else deserves us and no one else would put up with us. I say it regularly and it's always true - I love you more every day. Every. Single. Day. More.

Happy Thanksgiving to my baby and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

No comments:

Post a Comment