The beginning of a new month and a new season…
it’s a time of giving thanks and pulling our hearts into a new direction.
Thanksgiving when I was growing up was actually a very special day.
In the midst of the chaos of a strange and distant home we always knew that thanksgiving was at our grandma’s house. Actually it was grandma and grandpa’s house but he was often a silent figure sitting in his upholstered rocker swivel chair next to the side table holding his coffee or snacks.
For many years grandma did all the shopping cooking and preparing.
She would shop for days and make sure all the food was ready for cooking.
The dining room table decorated with china and crystal goblets along with fancy napkins and other accessories that went along with a beautiful table. Usually there would be a wonderful fresh flower arrangement and candles near by.
I will always remember how the multi colored lighting reflected off the dining room light making the ceiling a kaleidoscope of beauty and color.
As little girls we would anticipate the day at grandma’s.
Starting our day watching the Macy’s thanksgiving day parade on the console tv. Then prepping ourselves with showers or baths and setting out nice clothes for it was not a day for jeans… it was a day for pretty outfits and hair done. (I still remember the pink foam rollers wrapped around forming curls in my very straight hair).
I will always remember the china and the crystal and the forks and spoons ‘just for’ the pickles olives and cranberries. The turkey would cook and the potatoes would boil and grandma would stir and cut and prep the olives and pickles and we would gather in the kitchen and the guys would gather in the living room. There was always ladies chatter and men’s chatter not really saying much in the process.
It is funny now for me to think back because even though the dinner was fancy and proper and wonderfully made. The conversation was ‘stilted’ and maybe not even real. As children we didn’t really know that but later as the years moved on it became more true that the tradition was just that…
dinner at grandma’s.
Not a family reunion of warmth and love.
I am not saying we didn’t love each other, it was different. It was more out of obligation than wanting to be there in a warm and welcoming setting.
In the home my husband and I have made our thanksgiving is just as fancy.
That was a rule I brought into the relationship… that holidays were to be special.
A time for celebration and remembering.
We serve on china and crystal and with matching assorted plates and bowls, we have cloth napkins matching the cloth tablecloths. It is a tradition of beauty captured by my grandma and passed down from me to our children.
The difference is the conversation and the mood.
We thank God for the beauty and the bounty and the children’s voices and the hum of soft music. We are thankful for life is truly a gift for us to enjoy and give out.
We are thankful as we look upon the faces connected to us by family history.
I remain thankful for grandma’s traditional beautiful table setting and all that she showed me.
Even the lesson to ask and listen and ask more and listen deeper.
For in the faces of family and through the blessing of the meal…
we will join our hearts together.
I pray this November will be… for new traditions… new love and new life.
What do you pray for?