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 1

crown-1299136_1280If I were a beauty pageant contestant, I’d say, “All I want for Christmas…is world peace.”

But I’m not, nor have I ever been a contestant in a beauty pageant.

Most ordinary people want to live a peaceful life. Especially those who have teenagers living in the house.

cat-787733_1280⇐⇐⇐I’m more like this…

…and my list starts with…something entirely different. It’s been a busy year. If you keep up with my blog posts, you may have noticed that.

I’m not sure what happened to bits and pieces of last year. They’ve disappeared entirely from my memory.

  • Fallen through the cracks between the big stuff.
  • Part of my winter, all of my Spring, part of my summer.
  • Gone.

clock-691143_1280So one thing I’d like for Christmas is time. Time to think. Time to remember the stuff that happened in between. Maybe after I finish my latest work-in-progress. It’s due by end of year. I’m nearly there. Nearly finished, nearly at the end of the year.

Yes, that’s the first item on my list. Time.

turkey-1456681_1280Yes, I’ve overdosed on turkey, so if I’m a little woo-z, that’s why. But there’s a reason behind the madness. I promise. I will have a point.

I plan to share another item or two next week. I’m determined to put some fun in December. Smile at a stranger. Share a joke with a friend. Give a gift. Forgive a transgression. Honor those who love you with your time and presence of mind–not just the big lump of your carcass while you peruse Facebook or play video games. Put the electronic devices down (end of rant).

Most people spend more one-on-one time with their fur babies than they do with their human loved ones. 😦

By the way, in my opinion, Thanksgiving and Christmas–entirely too close together. Let me know what you think. See you next week!

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Gratitude

Gratitude. It’s not just a synonym for thankfulness, it’s a state of being. Something that is often forgotten. Those nine lepers in Jesus’ day (Luke 17:11-19) missed a blessing by not sticking around to say, “Thank you.” Yes, they were miraculously healed, which is a gift in itself. But in their haste—their excitement over being cleansed of this horrible disease, did they forget something? Where was the gratitude?

“Were there not ten of you,” Jesus asked the one who came to thank him. “Where are the nine?”

Shame on the nine.

Shame on me, when I forget to say thanks.

illustration-1546834_1280

What does the word gratitude mean to you? What thoughts enter your mind when you read that word? Do you think of things (inanimate objects)? Do you gaze around at your personal possessions? The roof over your head? Or do you think of your health? Are you thankful for each new day when you wake up and get out of bed?

Some don’t wake up. Some can’t get out of bed.

I tend to think of people. Those who are special to me. Family, friends, and those acquaintances who may become good friends in time. These are the most pleasant of gifts. Folks who actually care whether or not you wake up in the morning.

Some don’t have anyone.

turkey-1456681_1280On Thursday, we gather together to celebrate a turkey. Of course, I’m kidding, but it does sometimes seem that way, especially at my house. If I put a turkey in the oven, they will come to see me. If there’s pumpkin pie, it’s pretty much a guarantee. 🙂

This year, I’m especially grateful for the loves of my life, my husband, my sons, their wives, and those precious grandchildren. I plan to make gratitude a big part of our celebration.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. And if you have all the things above—a roof, possessions, health, family—I hope you remember to express your gratitude for those gifts. If you don’t have some of these things, but you have your health, you can be grateful for that.

In Philippians 4:11-13, Paul the Apostle writes:

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (New International Version)

Happy Thanksgiving!

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