A Time to Gather

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Here it is, just days before one of my favorite holidays . . .Thanksgiving.  I love the prelude to holidays.  It feels like a perpetual sense of opening a gift.  I love every detail. . . from planning the menu, to scrubbing the floor.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days.  A time to gather with family  and renew the ties that bind you . .  and a time to remember all that is right, in your life.  

Over time, traditions are born.  They just seem to happen without forethought.  For many years, my sons got up a football game in the yard, every year after the meal.  It was hardly a serious affair, as Christian, the youngest, was carried across the yard to score a touchdown, when he was a toddler. (  I intentionally did not plant roses, in one part of the yard,  in order, to leave  a large, open space, for football.) At some point,  their little cousin, Brandon was carried – and each little cousin that followed.  Now, Brandon is in his first year of college.  . . Now the boys, are walking with Lyla, after the meal and playing hide and seek” with her  -and Jenny  lost all interest in football, many years ago.

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Some years, such as this one, we have an “early Thanksgiving” celebration.  In such circumstances, I cook the meal, on Thursday anyway, for whoever can come. Mama and I planned a meal, around  the turkey, but with different side dishes.  Daddy does not even like turkey, and we took that in to account, but we are still having turkey.

I have the afternoon off, as school was dismissed early.  I   had to stop by the grocery.  What a bustling place that was, but folks were all so friendly and smiling.  Even the employees, which I felt such a sense of compassion for, were in high spirits.  I so wish, things were like they used to be.  Stores and businesses closed in lieu of the holidays, years ago and all had the chance to  observe the day as they saw fit.  Of course, this meant if you forgot to buy corn, you just didn’t have it and if you ran out of milk, the potatoes would suffer, but that seems a small and insignificant price to pay, after all.  I  would much rather know, that the young cashier was listening to her grandmother tell a story, that day or that the young men stocking the shelves, were with loved ones, eating pie, instead.  Sadly, those in professions that handle emergencies will always be needed, even on holidays, but putting out a fire, or caring for the sick, is a far cry from selling merchandise of any sort. 

I drove home under a canopy of leaves the color of honey and apricots and some were as red as rubies.  The day was bright and clear skies loomed overhead.  Autumn was robbed of its’ usual glory this year.  The wind blew fierce and rain pelted the trees without mercy, on a good many days.  Still, the leaves that did not come unfastened, paint the landscape now.  Their attempt is sufficient, for the countryside is lovely.

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The farmhouse still has boxes in every corner.  On Sunday, I found the largest stainless steel pot I own, in one of them.  I cooked the collards in that.  Miraculously, I found the pot with the very old roasting pan, in the first box I looked in.I will need that for the turkey. Oddly, these boxes were not sealed, as I had run out of tape, so no damage was done. 

 I had hoped a good old movie would be  on this afternoon.  Something like “The White Cliffs of Dover”  or “Miss Miniver” , but there was no such luck.  I was not in the mood for a mystery.  I have enough of that in my real life.   I had chores to do, and needed  a familiar story that I could watch in spurts.  I opted for “Little Women” which I had recorded, though I could not bear watching Beth die again, today. I would hang the curtains during that part. 

Before I knew it, evening was settling across the territory and it was time to turn a lamp on.  

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I woke early on Thanksgiving.  With todays’  light fare, there was not the usual need, to rise before dawn, but out of habit, I did anyway. Only the turkey required any real time.  I didn’t dare turn the news on, for fear of hearing of multiple tragedies and crime.  Some times, I want my world small.

I washed the platter, with the cheerful birds on it.  I had packed that with the roaster.  My sister Delores, gave me the platter for a birthday, years back.  I never fail to think of her, when I use it.  Delores is very thoughtful with her gifting and will look high and low, for just the right thing.  In all my decluttering, I did not part with a single gift, she had ever given me.  The platter would be the prettiest dish on the table today, for I have packed up all of my fancy dishes and those boxes are sealed, until further notice.

By the time, light came to the rabbit patch, I was making the orange and coconut dish, that Miss Claudia loves.  I have not made that for Mama and Daddy before, but I suspect, they will carry some home, with them.  I decided to make some of “Jo Dees'” barbecue chicken for Daddy,too.  He will be relieved of not having to eat turkey, again.  I also made a small pot of chili, for them .  These almost cold evenings are the perfect time for a warm bowl of “something”, for supper.

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I put on the corn and green beans before nine.  Long slanted rays streaked the rabbit patch about that time.  I thought about all of the fuss going on in kitchens everywhere.  There is something very pure about loved ones gathering for the sake of sharing a meal and giving thanks.  Thanksgiving does not have any thing else on the agenda and that makes it an extra special time for me.  

I did not expect to still be at the rabbit patch, this Thanksgiving, hence the packed up dishes.  I was certain, all the business of selling and buying would have been completed, by now.  As it turns out, I was wrong again.  I had pictured myself in the little cottage, with the little dining room, and had wondered where everyone would sit.  

For the longest time, I have done such daydreaming.  Now, after going through this long drawn out process, and having been totally off, by my calculating, I have a different stance.  I am dedicating my efforts to becoming an observer.  I no longer feel inclined to have an opinion about how things work.  . .and that includes human actions too.  As an observer, you simply gain information, without casting a judgement.  I needn’t think “Johnny is selfish, but instead that  it is difficult for Johnny to give”.  I shutter to think, how many times, I have cast judgement, and would have declared I did not, at the time.    I am making a gallant effort, and I need a lot more practice, but it is actually very liberating. 

Now, make no mistake, thinking I am floating along unscathed by this current predicament-nor that I am not now wondering where the Christmas tree will go and hoping there are outside receptacales  . . . but I am willing watch how things work out . . .and  if – and when . . . with a new perspective.  That is one of the many things, that I am grateful for today. 

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The house smelled like Thanksgiving by mid morning and it looked like Thanksgiving, out of the kitchen window,  for the yard seemed as if it had been  “dusted  as heavily with cinnamon”, as the sweet potatoes  – with all the leaves scattered everywhere.  Cash, my boxer and my gray cat, Christopher Robin, slept  together, in a patch of sunshine, on their blanket.  In my small world,  at least on this day -there was “peace on earth”.   . .and I was grateful for that, too.

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Happy Thanksgiving to all!   with love,  from the Rabbitpatch Diary !

 

 

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30 thoughts on “A Time to Gather

  1. I loved this post- so heartfelt and simple and satisfying- just as if I had eaten a simple but satisfactory meal- enough to smile after but not overloaded with goodies that I don’t even remember what goodies went into my tummy.
    I would opt for simple movies too- the white cliffs of Dover sound nice. You are right, there is too much drama in our lives as it is. I wish people would give me thoughtful gifts too.
    I wish all shops would close for holidays- any holiday- as, you said even the shop people had families and would like to spend it with them creating memories.
    I often wonder how traditions are born and now I know. We do and do a thing year after year, until that thing becomes a pattern.
    I wish I could cuddle up with Cash and Christopher Robin in their warm patch of sunshine too.
    Happy Thanksgiving, my loving, kind hearted, large hearted friend.
    Susie

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  2. Your reference to some older movies… has made me want to watch some too…. Happy Thanksgiving Michele… I do hope (along with a little prayer) that somehow soon… the events surrounding the sale of your home; get straightened out… Diane

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  3. Happy Thanksgiving even though is is almost over. We really should be in a thankful mood always but smetimes it is harder than others. I did the whole nine yards for our dinner. It was just my son and DnL but I pulled out all the stops and it has been a long tome snce I’ve done that. Tired? Yes I am! Kay only had the day off and I just couldn’t even think of her spending it in her kitchen. Besides I had not seen them since the end of June and they only live 12 miles down the road, or a couple of roads. People stay way to busy these days and I don’t think it is good. My son drives a big rig and doesn’t get home often enough for visits and well…you know how it goes. Like I said…People are too busy to live today. Of course son #3 and his brood came by after their visit with Kims family so it got pretty wild with 6 kids all under 8 years old. I am headed to sleep land pretty soon. You sleep well too. Love you.

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  4. Even though I only baked the pies for our meal today, it felt like a Thanksgiving, and I think from your post that yours did, too. I wish things were more settled for you, but everything in this world takes time, so we’ll just follow along with you, and see how things work out. With Cash and Christopher Robin sleeping peacefully in the sunshine, it sounds like a good end to a very good holiday.

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    1. Thank you Ann-Oddly, I do have a sense of peace-it is a deep sense of well being, but gosh, how glad I will be to know one way or another. It gives me comfort to know that you are going along with me on this journey. Thanksgiving is a favorite time for me. Baking pies is a great way to celebrate. love Michele

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  5. Michele – much love & day-after-Thanksgiving hugs! What precious memories you are still making at your lovely Rabbit Patch. I recently found a DVD of Good Bye Mr. Chips (the old black & white version) – a movie I watched with my Mama & enjoyed watching again now. Blessings! 🌷🤗🌷

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  6. It all sounds delish, Michele. I hear your sweet voice in your words, somehow. Your writing on nature and time passing is like music to my ears. I, too, like my world small, not a huge fan of news either. I was looking at news a little bit more with the election and it made me so tense. Off it went. I enjoyed the book and movie Mrs. Miniver, also! I’m very excited about seeing if I can find White Cliffs of Dover. Looks like just my speed! Have you ever watched the original version of the modern movie You’ve Got Mail. It’s called The Shop Around the Corner and I hope to watch that soon. My husband also wants to watch The Magic of Ordinary Days with me during the holidays. We had a wonderful time at Hearth Ridge yesterday also…I cooked and my husband spent time with the children. A lot of hunting going on this week also. My four younger children helped me with various cooking things…I made a bit brunch mid-morning and then the traditional meal in the evening. So nice. I forgot to make stuffing, though! Ha! 🙂

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    1. The Shop around the corner is a wonderful movie-Now the is also “The Bishops’ Wife” and Holiday Affair-which are good Christmas movies. I have not read “Miss Miniver”, but I will. Your life is one beautiful story. I take such joy in reading your posts. Funny you forgot the stuffing! Thank you dear Amy, love Michele

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  7. This is such a heartwarming post, Michele. All the lovely memories of kids playing football, the family cooking, your sister Dolores who gave you the small platter, and Miss Claudia who gave you the orange and coconut dish. I’m sure your Thanksgiving was enjoyable as ever before! ❤

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      1. Our Thanksgiving was wonderful. I had another book sale today. Many people were away for the holiday but that’s okay. I’ll start getting on some websites to promote my book. I think it’s a good Christmas gift. 🙂

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  8. A beautiful Thanksgiving post, as usual, Michele. The Rabbit Patch sounds like the perfect place to celebrate this wonderful day of gratitude.
    We all have fond memories of our Thanksgivings’ that have past and your post brings them to the forefront of my mind. Thank you for sharing, Michele. Hugs from an internet friend. xoxo

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  9. Sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving. The waiting times are so hard. At least I find it hard not to run a scenario through my head and start planning along with that. I have had to revise the plan for life so many times you would think I would learn!
    I did grin about you not watching the news. We often turn it off for that very reason.

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    1. I give up on my own renditions of how things will turn out-all that energy, I use and often to be surprised! Still, I am VERY curious-I will not deny it, but not as anxious as I was. I hope you are doing well-I thought of you as I was cooking for the holiday. love Michele

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  10. Here’s to keeping our worlds small.
    It’s not that I want to ignore the rest of the world, nor bury my head like the proverbial ostrich.
    Back in the when, our worlds were always small. Before radio and television, it would be weeks before you read about anything happening outside your own little world.
    I don’t want to turn a cold shoulder to the world, I just want to resist its insistence on elbowing its way into mine.

    p.s.: Miracle on 34th Street is the almost-perfect Thanksgiving movie, since it has the parade and Santa!

    All my best,

    Paz

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