I didn’t plan to get up at dairy farm time on Thanksgiving Day, but sometimes my mind seems to have a mind of its own. Today, it seems to think that it should be thinking instead of sleeping. So, after already spending an hour putting another coat of sealer on the last set of kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts and then sorting through some more of the stuff I’ve had stored in boxes for twenty-to-forty years, I’m here at my computer… and it’s only 5:30.
Lord willing, in a couple more hours, Randa’s daughter, Christy, will be here with her two teenage sons. I’ll cook waffles and sausage and we’ll have our breakfast together. Then, according to the plan, Hunter and Gage will help me bottle up my latest batch of apple cider. That done, they’ll head back home well before noon and Randa and I will head toward Kentucky. While we’re gone, a neighbor will feed the horse and the cat, hopefully without getting the rations reversed.
If all goes according to intent, I’ll do some work on upgrading my daughter’s closet on Friday. Then, we’ll have a big holiday roundup at her house on Saturday with another four of my kids, their significant others and a dozen of our grandkids. Hopefully, I’ll be able to persuade a few of those kids to help me make a big bowl of fruit salad. I’m expecting a lot of good food, a fair amount of noise and activity and hopefully, the biggest tag football game we’ve played this century. Nothing elaborate and all of it very special, for a variety of reasons.
Three of my sons are on active military duty and two of them have been deployed multiple times in the Middle East over the past several years. A few of the kids have lived in Alaska at different times over the past decade and a couple worked at an orphanage in Jamaica for a while. Most holidays, we’ve been separated by thousands of miles. Even without the particular challenges of blended families, it would have been challenging for us to all get together. It seems like quite a stretch, but I’m hopeful that some day, all of our children and grandchildren will be able to get together in one place at one time. Whether that ever happens or not, I intend to take deep pleasure and delight in every opportunity to get together with any of them. I’ll also take satisfaction in remembering celebrations of days gone by: my uncles coming to the farm in Todd County to go rabbit and quail hunting, Mom’s cornbread dressing, homemade rolls and fruit salad.
I’m not sure what traditions might be in your plans for Thanksgiving, but I hope you get to spend at least part of the day enjoying your favorite ones. I hope, too, that those you love will feel loved and appreciated. You might be able to do something about that…