The Thanksgiving Chicken Memory

chicken, hen, domineckerThanksgiving at Grandma’s house did not include turkey, or if it did, the turkey was quite small and looked like chicken.

Hello, Thursday Morning readers! Thanksgiving is one week from today. So, I’m feeling a little nostalgic. Just a couple of weeks ago, I stood at Aunt Edna’s grave side. My mind filled with memories as I glanced around at the nearest markers. Uncle Bud, Granny, Grandma…they’re all together now.

We had some wonderful memories at Grandma’s table, small as it was. The family showed up, all the aunts “totin'” a dish or two, as Grandma would say. We’d set the table and leave a stack of plates on the Hoosier cabinet for the kids to fill and take to the living room.

The star of Grandma’s dinner table was a chicken. Grandma raised chickens, so one was always handy.

Okay, I have a confession to make here: I never ate chicken at Grandma’s. Maybe I was a picky eater—I don’t remember—but that hunk of flesh in the center of the table had been out in the yard a few hours ago, scratching around. I couldn’t eat it.

I loved all the vegetables, though. Mashed potatoes and gravy, lima beans, crowder peas, skillet corn and cornbread dressing. But not the chicken, and certainly not the giblet gravy. I’d seen what went into the gravy. NO way!

This girl didn’t eat innards.

Next week, there will be a turkey on my Thanksgiving table. And, there will be giblet gravy, because my husband loves it. These days, I usually eat the turkey. I hope it had a good upbringing.

And I hope you have a wonderful holiday, whether you serve turkey or chicken, or a table-full of vegetables.

For each new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food,

For love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends,

Father in heaven,

We thank thee.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson [Prayer of Thanks]

All I Want for Christmas Part 3

hot-chocolate-1875870_1280It’s Christmas week. Many of you are manically shopping and baking to get ready for the weekend. It’s one of the most stressful weeks of the entire year. To make matters worse, we have less daylight.

Amid all the wrapping of gifts and checking your list to make sure everyone has a present and everything will be perfect, we tend to neglect something very important. Our mental health. 🙂 And along with mental health, our physical health is at risk.

So here’s something to help you, and it only takes a few moments:

  1. Take a deep breath
  2. Hold it for a count of seven
  3. Release the breath
  4. Repeat steps 1-3, two or three times.

Did you try it? It works by supplying extra oxygen to the brain. They say it also helps you fall asleep. I haven’t really tried that. All I need to fall asleep is to sit still for about five minutes. Works every time. But if I lie down, I tend to wake up.

read-1631169_1280What helps you relax? A relaxing bath, a cup of hot tea or other hot beverage, an interesting book, a beloved pet–those are all good ways to take a break during this stressful season.

Take care of yourself. There are a lot of bugs being passed around right now, and when you’re tired and stressed, your immunity runs low.

Okay, enough grandma talk. What’s my final wish before Christmas? I’ve wished for time (to remember, to meditate on what’s happened this year), I’ve wished for togetherness with family and friends.

So my final Christmas wish is for you to have a wonderful holiday. May you be blessed with time to spend with family and friends. May you have time to remember, and be thankful for what you have. May you have moments of peace and relaxation to help you navigate the maze of the holiday season.

Give to others from your heart, not expecting anything in return. Love with all your heart, but don’t hide it–show it. Say the words, “I love you,” often, and with feeling. The Bible says you reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7). That’s a very practical proverb. It’s true, you know. If you plant a tomato seed, you won’t get an apple tree, you’ll get a tomato plant.

So when you do good to others, somewhere along the way, it’ll come back to you.

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All I Want for Christmas Part 2

There are a number of Christmas stories, books, and movies that begin with the line, “All I Want for Christmas…” — and one very silly song. I won’t mention that one, because I don’t want to get it stuck in my head. Hey, I’m doing you a very great favor here.

Christmas time is here...
Christmas time is here…

So, Hallmark Christmas movies are a genre all their own. The tendency is toward sap and silliness and incredible situations. Even the credible ones tend to be quite predictable. Don’t get me wrong, I love some of those silly offerings. And every once in a while, you stumble across one that is truly delightful.

I have a few favorites. They’re not all made by Hallmark, but definitely in the genre:

  • One Christmas Eve is a total blast! I laughed so hard.
  • A Season for Miracles–angelic!
  • The Christmas Bunny–different, but I liked it.
  • Christmas with Holly–mostly because of the location, and the Basset hound.
  • A Christmas Card–it has everything–an icky fiance, and curly fries.
  • The Road to Christmas–wonderful actors.

Okay, that’s enough. Most of these are romances or contain romance, but not all. The couples meet and fall into forever love in just days! But something in them appeals to me. Laughter, love, warmth…and honestly, by the time Christmas gets here, I’ve watched too many. I feel like a total glutton. I’m ready to move on. But if you like to watch them all year, they are available. Nice to know.

But the time comes when you need to get your head out of the Hallmark movie and face real life.

family-310364_1280Because there are some people out there who need a positive influence in their lives. They need us to share the love passed down from our Heavenly Father and the Savior we celebrate during this season. Hey, if your pocketbook is a little too slim, find other ways to bless your friends and family. Don’t be a Scrooge!

So what’s my Christmas wish this week? Time to watch movies? No. That would be a little shallow, don’t you think? Fun, but frivolous. And besides, I wished for time last week. So this week, I wish for gatherings and fun and fellowship. My holiday house is open to sons and their wives, their families, and carloads of granddaughters (one of my favorite things). The best recipe for fun and laughter is a house filled with those you love.

chip-1And maybe someone will come and bring their dog. I’d love that.

What’s your greatest wish? Is it an impossible dream, or is it a maybe–something within the realm of possibility. Faith is believing, so I’m going to stock the fridge, do some baking, and be ready for that wish to come true.