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Friday, November 23, 2012

My Best Thanksgiving - Part 5

Happy Thanksgiving, FFFs!
I hope you are all enjoying Black Friday. :P Who first came up with the idea to have great sales the day after Thanksgiving? And who named the day "Black Friday"?

What have I done this past week? I did extra cleaning. You know, those things that get done once a year. I suppose they would be "spring cleaning" jobs only we seem to do them just before we decorate for Christmas. (Oh, now I can put on the Christmas music! :D ) A friend came over and spent several hours on Tuesday. That was fun since I haven't seen her for months. My grandparents came Wednesday and that is when we had our Thanksgiving Feast. My brother, Sis-in-law and the kiddos came over and we had a wonderful day. The weather was perfect so the kids got to play outside. They rode bikes before we ate, and Pickle Puss and Goofball discovered that they can just about ride their bikes without training wheels! I'm sure Funny Boy won't be far behind. And of course Doodle Bug loves to climb on the trike and sit there until you push him. ;)
We got some family pictures taken after we ate and then the kids got to play in the leaves. We have a lot of trees in the yard and a huge swing. When other friends come over, they love to rake the leaves into a huge pile and then jump off the swing into them. Well, on Wednesday, the kiddos got to try it. They loved it! Doodle Bug rolled, jumped, laughed and had a wonderful time in those leaves even if he was half asleep. At one point he sat down, I covered him most of the way up and he put his little head down like he was going to go to sleep. :) The older three enjoyed them just as much. It took Funny Boy a little while to get up enough courage to actually jump off the swing, but then he really liked it.
Yesterday, Thanksgiving, was a quieter day. No little ones. My grandpa, mom and I opened 40+ boxes and sorted the things to be ready for Light of Faith's Black Friday sale.
Today we'll help pull things for orders. So, if you ordered from Light of Faith and ordered anything of the Melissa & Doug toys, puzzles or craft things, chances are good that I helped pull your order. :)

As far as writing, I've gotten some done. Not as much as sometimes, but I have been busy. Grandparents leave this afternoon, so I might get to write this evening. We'll see. Tomorrow one of my Heart-Sisters is coming over and will spend the night, so I won't be writing then. :) Decorating starts tomorrow! Another Heart-Sis and their parents come on Sunday along with my brother and his family. I'll try to get some pictures of the end results. :)
Until then, I hope you have a wonderful day and enjoy this last part of

My Best Thanksgiving

    We were back on the road again. I really hoped we wouldn’t have any more trouble because I wanted to get to Grandma and Grandpa’s. Besides, Jason and Vicki were growing rather grumpy from being in the van so long. Carol started us singing and we sang every song we could think of from “When the Saints Go Marching In,” to “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” to “Jesus Loves Me” to “Yellow Rose of Texas.” We were hoarse and hungry when we finally stopped. Since we had expected to be at Grandma’s for supper, we hadn’t packed anything. That meant we had to stop and pick up Taco Bell. We almost never ate out, so that was a treat.
    Lee ate quickly and then drove so Dad could eat. However, when it began to grow dark, they switched again. Mom found a classical radio station to listen to and everyone settled down. We all had our pillows with us and I propped mine up so I could lean back and watch the stars until eventually I fell asleep.
    I only half woke up when we arrived at Grandma’s around midnight and stumbled upstairs to bed. We always slept in the same rooms when we came so no one had to be told where to go. This time I didn’t have to share a bed with Jason.

    The tantalizing smell of cinnamon rolls mingling with whiffs of roasting turkey roused me in the morning. Ginger was the only other one up besides Grandma and Grandpa when I came down to the kitchen.
    Grandma greeted me with a hug. “Reagan Rowe, you’ve grown at least two inches since I saw you last,” she exclaimed, holding me off and looking me up and down.
    “But he’s as skinny as a rail like he’s always been,” Grandpa laughed, hugging me next. “Don’t they feed you anything down in Texas?” Grandpa loved to tease. “Here Grandma,” he said, “feed this beanstalk before he gets so thin he just disappears.”
    And so the day began. Grandma’s cinnamon rolls were the best I’ve had even to this day and they were the perfect start to the day.
    Around ten, my aunts, uncles and cousins started arriving, each family bringing something to add to our mid-afternoon meal. While we waited for the hour for feasting to finally arrive, the cousins dispersed here and there to play, visit and enjoy being together. My family was the only one from out of state, so it it was always special when we came. But not only was I the middle child, I was also the middle cousin, and more often than not I’d be more inclined to wander alone then join a game of Monopoly, Careers or Uno. That day was no different.
    Grabbing my camera, I pulled on my heavy jacket, for the sky was overcast and the wind nippy, and went outside. It had been dark out when we had arrived the night before so I hadn’t noticed the wagon in the side yard. Grandpa had this old wagon that he used just for fun things like hay rides or in parades or to go on picnics and things like that, and it was usually stored in the barn, but that day it was out. I wandered over.

The wheels had been painted a golden yellow recently and the back of the wagon was piled with orange pumpkins and yellow and green squash. Hay bales were set about the wagon with buckets of Grandma’s mums here and there with a few more pumpkins and squash scattered about while golden brown cornstalks, gathered together, were leaning against the wagon. A large bow of orange and black held together cornstalks entwined with autumn leaves. This hung from the back of the wagon. It was lovely. I knew there would be family pictures taken there later, but right then I didn’t want any people in the picture. I wanted to capture it just the way it was.
    The large bell hanging just outside the kitchen door began to ring loudly announcing the feast we had all been waiting for. There was a mad scramble for the side door (We weren’t allowed to use the kitchen door.), and coats, jackets and boots were hurriedly pulled off and tossed aside. We’d pick them up later.
    In the large dining room were two long tables. One was for the younger cousins and the other was for the older folks. As usual, I headed over to the younger table, but Grandpa stopped me.
    “No, Ray, you aren’t a child any more. You join us here.”
    I couldn’t find any words but looked from Grandpa to Dad. Did he really mean it? Dad was smiling.
    “Yes, Ray, you proved yourself on this trip and you can be considered one of the older ones now.”
    Still not finding my voice, I just smiled. Sitting at the grown-up’s table was an honor and I knew what things I’d say I was thankful for.
    Before Grandma and the older girl cousins brings out the food, each person has five kernels of dried corn placed on their plate. Then one of the cousins quotes the poem “Five Kernels of Corn.” It’s a poem about the first winter in America when the pilgrims only had enough food to give each person five kernels of corn for a meal. After the poem is finished, a basket is passed around and each person drops his corn in and says five things he is thankful for.
    When it was my turn I dropped my corn in and said, “I’m thankful I got to help Lee pack the trailer, for a dust storm to make me appreciate the lovely weather here, police officers who are always ready to help, for the best Thanksgiving ever and,” I paused and glanced about the room at all my relatives and family. “And I’m thankful for the memories I’ll never forget of our trip, this day and everyone here!”
    This was Thanksgiving. A full, rich harvest, plenty to eat, a family to share it with and knowing I was growing up. I thought back over the trip from Texas to Virginia and all our delays. That dust storm had caused me to appreciate the fresh, crisp air about me like I had never done before. And the flat tire, the nights crowded into hotel rooms, hours and hours stuck in the van together, that is what memories are made from. Memories are things to be thankful for. Memories to hold in your heart forever, to pull out again and relive year after year. Memories of a Thanksgiving I’ll always remember.

Did you enjoy this story?
Come back next week for the start of "A Christmas Disaster."
What kind of things would you like me to post in December?
Poems, really short stories, recipes, book reviews, pictures, . . . ?

2 comments:

Abigail in WI said...

Enjoyed this story..the road trip part of it sounds somewhat familiar!! ;) oh and Happy Thanksgiving!!! :)

Anott Amos Kowerd said...

Good story. The title "A Christmas Disaster" has me curious.
As far as the day after thanksgiving being called 'black Friday', I've heard that's the day stores get their finances in the 'black'. Though I don't know how much truth there is to that statement.