Thanksgiving Day has dawned with low peach colored light. The woodland trees behind the old barn look like black lace, in the absence of their leaves. The house was chilly enough for a small fire. The flames flicker and flash light in a cheerful fashion. A fire improves any room and makes an occasion out of ordinary moments. I am glad for a time that calls for a fire.
Yesterday was a half day, at the school where I work . For seventeen years, a group of young violinists that have advanced in the repertoire, carol and deliver pies to a housing complex just a few miles away from the campus. It is one of my favorite events of the whole year. We delivered more than 50 pies and the children were well mannered. Service is the best way I know of to develop a noble character.
I had to make a mad dash to the grocery afterwards. Of course, it was a full house. Everyone was so friendly and happy. The atmosphere was lively and happy. I felt sorry I had dreaded it so.
Now, I love the eve of every holiday. I love the cooking for as I go along in the kitchen making dishes, I remember that Connie loves collards and Jenny loves cheesecake. I wonder what Lyla will fancy this year . . and will my niece Hayley bring her boyfriend? I make the biscuit dressing that everybody loves and remember Grandmama telling me how to make it.
I often say, that cooking in anticipation of a family gathering, is one of my favorite pursuits. I love washing the linens and brewing special blends of fine coffee. . .Mostly, I love waiting for the oldest children to come home. Cash, my dog gets caught up in the merriment and is quite alert. He goes from one window to another peering out, waiting, for he knows somehow, as I do that something wonderful awaits.
By the time, the peach like light, had faded. I was cooking a very large pot of collards. Tres and Kyle slept by the warmth of the wood heater and all seemed right, at that moment. This year, Thanksgiving is at Mama and Daddys’ house just after the noon hour.
We all arrived in shifts, and with ours arms full of dishes. The kitchen was noisy and busy with all sorts of activities going on. There was not one complaint about anything on the table. Hayley did not bring her boyfriend. Christian brought his guitar and my nephew Brandon said he would bring his at Christmas. Of course Lyla, being the youngest by far, got a fair share of attention. We all agreed that she is a special child, as we have done with every child born to us, before her. I think families ought to let the children know how precious they are. I do not think a child gains confidence with “false praise” or responding to their every desire with elaborate indulgences. . .nor with excuses for poor behavior. These things do not serve anyone- But a sense of belonging to a family that is just glad you were born, does wonders and can sustain you all of your life. At least, it has for me.
We all left as we came, in shifts. This time our arms were full with the last of the green bean casserole, pecan pie and turkey. Mama and Daddy are well stocked for a few meals. The extra chairs were returned to the garage, trash was taken out and the kitchen was restored to good order. Christmas decorations were retrieved from the attic so that when the “spirit moves in Mama”, she can act on it.
Friday Morning, Very Early
I have not yet made a fire, but I ought to. It is a cold and bright morning. None of us have ever gone shopping as millions do, the day after Thanksgiving. My heart is too full to want for anything. Instead, I will make a fire, and remember all that unfolded yesterday . . .while I was in the company of those that are glad I was born and whose love . . . does wonders.