I greeted Dad this morning with “Happy Thanksgiving and anniversary!” then adding, “oh yeah, and birthday! I knew I forgot one.” Yep, he and Mom were married on his birthday 27 years ago and it often falls on Thanksgiving as well. It probably doesn’t feel as special for him to have these all on the same day but at least it’s been easy for him to remember their anniversary date over the years. Today he got a very special gift: players for the game National Geographic Global Pursuit. This has got to be about his favorite game but we so rarely play it because the rest of us feel so unintelligent at trying to answer the questions. We surprised ourselves today though; I guess we’ve learned a lot since playing when we were six, eight and ten, we also found it helps a lot to play on teams. There were seven of us for the game though so we left the smart birthday boy to himself . . . and guess what. He won.
I am thoroughly enjoying this relaxing time at home by taking time to nightly walk through our yard to see the glittering stars, spoil our darling kitty (who seems to grow way too fast while I’m gone), and spend as many waking minutes as possible together with my family.
Making Thanksgiving dinner with my younger sister and Mom this morning was a real treat and none of us got overly stressed out. I got a little antsy with my pie crusts as time was getting short and my crusts were thin and sticky but all turned out well and I slid the sweet potatoes with the pecan topping into the oven for their last few minutes of baking just as our guests drove in. Mom woke up extra early to stick the turkey in the oven but was so tired my sister and I told her she should take a morning nap as we kept preparing the meal, she took our suggestion and felt much better afterward. I’m glad she felt comfortable enough with us in the kitchen to be able to sleep a couple hours before the company came.
Much has changed in our family this past year that it’s such a blessing to be all together. After I said something to Mom this morning about how I do so and so in my house I told her that sounded really strange . . . to say “my house”; she agreed. I know we are each savoring the moments we have together more than we have some years. It’s bittersweet at times, change is often good but it’s hard to let go of the way things used to be—the good things as well as the bad things (sadly, due to our stubborn pride). I smile at the future though, it can be better than the past. This week I’m making some changes in my life that I should have made many, many years ago, it’s extremely difficult but for every ounce of difficulty, it has been worth it by a pound. There’ve been tears and hugs. This year I’m thankful for grace and forgiveness.
I did feel like my sisters and I were the three little girls who used to run around the house together when my older sister sat down at the grand piano this evening. She opened a hymnal and began playing Christmas carols as my younger sister and I skipped over to the piano, both with our braided hair and sock feet. We sang a few carols until Mom called for me from the kitchen to take care of the milk I was letting boil over for my hot chocolate. They kept singing as I made my hot chocolate; stirring the chocolate bits into the hot milk to melt them I wished I could sing as well as they do, they do sound like angels. I love to sing with them but I keep quiet enough not to be heard too much.
It has been one of our family traditions to watch Fiddler on the Roof each Thanksgiving, and this isn’t written into it or anything but for the next several days we go around the house singing “Tradition!”, “If I Were a Rich Man”, or “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” until we’re all completely sick of hearing the songs. I’ve mentioned the movie to my family a few times in the last couple months so they’d have it from Netflix over Thanksgiving but sadly they forgot. We watched Fly Away Home instead, which we all enjoyed. I was kind of addicted to that movie when I was about eight but haven’t seen it for years so it was fun to see it again. I was reminded of how much I like the song they play at the beginning and end of the movie, it’s beautiful.
Ten Thousand Miles
Fare you well, my own true love
Farewell for a while
I am going away but I’ll be back
If I go ten thousand miles
Ten thousand miles, my own true love
Ten thousand miles or more
And the rocks may melt and the seas may burn
If I no more return
Oh, don’t you see yon lonesome dove
Sitting on yon ivy tree
He is weeping for her own true love
As I shall weep for mine
Oh, come back, my own true love
And stay a while with me
If I had a friend all on this earth
You’ve been a friend to me