Friday, October 26, 2012

My Best Thanksgiving - Part 1

Good Morning FFFs,
There sure was a change in the weather yesterday! We went from having the windows open and it being breezy and near 70 degrees to shutting windows because it was raining, windy and had dropped to the 50s before noon. But I love the chilliness of this weather! I was tired of wearing short sleeves. I wanted long sleeves, sweaters, knee socks and slippers. :)

I had quite a week. In some ways it was more relaxing than I thought it would be, but it is still going by too quickly. I did a lot of finishing. :) I finished a table runner and napkin set I was making for someone. Sorry, it is hard to see the hand quilting in this picture.

My nephew had his 3rd birthday party on Sunday and since he LOVES trains, he had a train party. :)

I also graded 22 papers for someone, checked several of my own students' papers, and was going to have my last writing class for this year, but was asked to postpone it until after AGC. I didn't mind. That gave me a little more time to get something else done that has been on my list of "to do" things for a long time. I finally got my driver's license. Yeah, yeah, I know. I could have had it a LONG time ago. Over a dozen years ago if I had wanted. The thing was, however, I wasn't interested. :) Not really. Not until a few years ago when I wished I had it. And since everyone in the family was so busy, it took me a while to get enough practice in. It was my grandpa who really got me going. But now that's done!

I've been writing in the evenings. I actually started on a Christmas story. I think you'll enjoy it once I get it finished.  But first things first. You have a Thanksgiving story that comes first. Well, they aren't connected, but since Thanksgiving comes before Christmas, I thought you should start with that story.

On another note, next week will be the start of American Government Camp (AGC)! So, I'll be very busy from Tuesday until Wednesday, Nov. 7th. But I'm going to get the next part of the Thanksgiving story scheduled to post so you can read it even if I'm running around doing lit-drops, sign waving and being political. :) And if you think of it, we'd appreciate prayers. There are about 36 students
And now, enjoy the first part of

My Best Thanksgiving

    Isn’t it strange how some events remain so clearly fixed in your memory that it seems as though they happened yesterday or last week when in actuality they took place ten, twenty or even forty years ago? I have a few memories that are like that but the one I remember the most was the Thanksgiving I was eleven.
    It began like most of our vacation trips did, with a lot of confusion, noise and busyness. But what else would you expect with a family of nine? Dad had wanted to leave by seven-thirty Monday morning, but Sunday night, even though we stayed up really late trying to get things ready, it didn’t look like it would work. We were all grumpy and needed to go to bed. The usual bed time for the younger three was eight but they were still up at ten! Not even the older three stay up that late usually. Finally Dad gave a whistle and we all hurried into the kitchen.
    “All right, kids,” he said. “This is not working. You are all tired and grumpy. Does everyone have their personal things packed? Things to do in the car and anything you wanted to take along to play with?”
    Emmy, Vicki and Jason nodded their heads. I did too. That had been the easy stuff to pack. I packed a few books to read, my crossword book, camera, Bible and a blank notebook. You never know when a piece of notebook paper will come in handy. I had also grabbed a few pens and pencils.
    Dad was talking again. “Good! Jason, Emmy and Vicki, get your clothes on for tomorrow and go to bed. I want you three in bed in five minutes. Understand?”
    “Yes, Daddy,” they chorused and raced off.
    “Carol, Ginger,” Dad turned to my oldest sisters, “are your suitcases packed?”
    “Almost,” Carol replied. “We just have to add the last few things in the morning.”
    “And I have what I’m taking packed, too, Dad,” Ginger added.
    “Good.” Glancing about the room with a slight frown, Dad next addressed Lee and me. Lee’s the oldest of us kids. He was seventeen. Carol was next at fifteen and Ginger was fourteen. As I said before, I was eleven. My name is Reagan, but I’m called Ray most of the time. I was the middle child and didn’t have anyone close to me in age. The younger three were eight, seven and six, with Emmy the oldest and Jason the last. I had a hard time figuring out just where I fit in, for I wasn’t often considered one of the older ones but the younger ones were a bit too young to be good companions. It didn’t usually bother me much. I guess I was used to being a loner. So when Dad said my name along with Lee’s, I was surprised!
    “I want you boys to get the other suitcases. Leave the girls’, and bring the others down here to the kitchen table.”
    “Even if they aren’t packed yet?” Lee asked.
    “Especially if they aren’t packed.”
    We hurried off. I dashed upstairs and grabbed mine first. It wasn’t packed at all because I’d no sooner start to work on it when I’d get called to do something else. I snatched up Jason’s as well, then hurried down the stairs passing Lee on the way. In no time flat we had all of them on the table in a line. The older girls and Mom kept theirs.
    I’m not very good at packing suitcases because I always forget something. But this way was easy. Dad would tell us how many of what thing to get and Lee and I would dash off and bring them back and just dump them in the right suitcase. Once we had everything, Dad left us to pack them while he went to tell the younger three good-night.
    After a little while, just as we were zipping up the last suitcase, Mom came out of her room looking really tired.
    “Sit down and rest, Mom,” Lee said, pulling out a chair.
    Mom sat down but shook her head. “I don’t have time to rest. There is still so much to do. We haven’t even started on the kitchen stuff, sleeping bags, blankets, coats—” she sighed. Glancing at the table with its row of suitcases she asked, “What’s that?”
    “All the suitcases except yours and the older girls’,” I told her. “Dad had us pack them.”
    I was wondering what we were supposed to do next, but Dad came in then and ended any wondering.
    “Janet,” he said to Mom, “I just sent Carol and Ginger to bed. They do better early in the morning and they can finish their things then. The younger three are in bed and that is where you are going now.”
    Mom snorted. “Not if you still want to leave by seven-thirty.”
    Dad grinned. There seemed to be nothing he liked better than a challenge like that. “You just wait and see. I’ve got the two helpers I need and you are going to bed.” He pulled her out of the chair, put an arm around her and kissed her nose. “Ray, go to the garage and get out sleeping bags for each of us. Lee, bring the coolers in and start packing the food box.”
    That was the start of it. Mom did go to bed and just Dad, Lee and I were up. I didn’t realize how much it took for us to go on a two week vacation nor how quickly we could get things ready when the younger three were in bed. It was eleven-thirty when Dad glanced around the front room. There were stacks and piles everywhere, but we knew exactly what was in each pile and could load it quickly in the morning.
    “Good work, Sons. Thanks,” Dad said before sending us to bed. We would load the trailer in the morning.

    Lee’s alarm was going off when I woke up. It was four-thirty. I didn’t really want to get up since I’d gone to bed so late, but knowing I could sleep in the van later, I managed to crawl out of bed, blinking as Lee switched on the light. The three of us boys shared a room, but Jason is such a heavy sleeper that we could turn lights on and even talk and he wouldn’t wake up until around seven each morning.

To be continued next week.
Any thoughts so far?


Anott Amos Kowerd said...

A very entertaining start of a story. All the packing sounds a little too realistic :).

Rebekah said...

Thanks for commenting, Anott. I hope you enjoy the rest of the story.

Grace Mae said...

HI Bekah! I really liked the first part of this story. Can't wait to read the next part. I will be praying for you and everyone involved with AGC. I so wished I could have come. Congradulations about your driver's license. Now you have to come see me. :-) Anyways, you are always in my thoughts and prayers. Love you :D

Rebekah said...

Thanks, Grace! Prayers are very much appreciated for AGC. I hope you enjoy the rest of this story too. :)

Abigail in WI said...

Oh, packing for a family is always a fun challenge! :) Can't wait to see you next week..really excited for AGC!!! :)