Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. When I was a young girl, we would travel to Florence, AL to spend the day with my mother’s grandparents (my great-grandparents). We would start the day at the McGee’s where my great-grandfather Tack would play the harmonica and pull on our toes. I loved the smell of Granny’s house and I loved to play on the columns that adorned her front porch. They were made of tree limbs and were knobby and painted white. My uncle Donny would sit outside and smoke and Granny would dip snuff and we kids would play in the leaves and skip rocks across the pond out back.
After eating lunch with the McGee’s, we would head over to the Roberson’s and visit with my grandfather’s mother, sister and step-father. Sometimes we would peck at the piano and sometimes we would just lie in the floor and tell stories and talk about whatever was on our mind. Regardless of what we did or what we talked about, it was always good quality time.
When it came time to drive back home to Huntsville, we would shimmy over to my paternal grandparents’ house and visit with what was left of the Parker crowd. After eating all day, I wouldn’t eat much of anything there, but my dad always managed a little extra room for my grandmother’s dressing.
As I got older and our family started having families of their own, and my great-grandfathers passed away, my parents started hosting my mother’s family. We would prepare all the food and they would come and eat with us and after the feasting and the fellowship we would again venture over to the Parkers to visit with all the folks there.
Throughout the years our Thanksgiving has continually changed. When I was in college, my parents invited wayward hockey players over for Thanksgiving dinner as well as people from church who had no family in town or no one to visit. We’ve had guests at our Thanksgiving table from Latvia, Canada, and Tennessee, but no matter who was at our table, the time was always enjoyable and memorable and definitely a time to be thankful.
This year, we all share in the cooking duties and this year there will be one face missing from our table that I’m sure will weigh heavy on our hearts. But it will allow us time to reflect on the good times and look forward to the future times with that loved one. And although he will be missed, we also know that he is safe and he is warm and he is not hungry and we pray that God will bless us by bringing us together again soon.
So, Happy Thanksgiving from Nat! May your day be memorable and may you be thankful not only on Thanksgiving but on every day of the year.
I will leave you with a few Thanksgiving quotes that I found today:
"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving." -W.T. Purkiser
“Praise God even when you don't understand what He is doing.”
- Henry Jacobsen
“Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.”
“Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.”