Now that we have moved we take turns with holidays as a lot of families do. This year Thanksgiving was spent with the Slocums. For years we have done it the same way, with the same dishes and a whole lot of family including any and all extras they bring along. There have been Slocum Thanksgiving's with more than 50 people there. To some this sounds like nothing but chaos but to those of us who know it and grew up with it, it is nothing short of heaven. It is exactly how Thanksgiving should be.
Thanksgiving "dinner" which is served at 1:00 PM has been at Aunt Beth and Uncle Steve's for quite a few years. They live in a beautiful home with plenty of room and lots of adult toys and flat screen TVs. Perfect for a large family full of men who never grew up. Their home is conveniently located "61 seconds" from mom and dads. This made travel easy for our little family that drove over 5 hours the day before to get home.
This year Thanksgiving was unusually light for the Slocums. Sick kids, changes in tradition, and family quarrels are just a few of the reasons there were empty seats around the table. However, our family is large enough and loud enough that even about 25 of us made for a fun and lively afternoon. Presley enjoyed her first Thanksgiving meal. She ate like a Hall and made her daddy proud. She ate so much in fact that she settled down for a long nap in the middle of Aunt Beth's bed for the rest of the afternoon. Scooter played the arcade games, sang songs for Nana, raced the race cars, rode around the house on a motorized jeep and ate more creamed corn than anyone else in the house. Doc and I played shuffle board, visited, laughed, marveled at the new toys Uncle Steve had added to his family fun room and snuck extra bites of dessert when no one was looking . Wait, that was me not Doc. Ssshhh.
It was a nice change of pace to have one of mine asleep for a little while and about half of the people there to visit with. It gave me chance to stop and breath. A chance to smells the food and enjoy my glass of sweet tea. A chance to really look around and see how much I had to be thankful for and what a blessing this family really is. I stopped for a moment and praised Him for all that surrounded me that afternoon.
I was thankful for my Nana who was sitting at the table singing Jesus Loves Me to Scooter while she stuffed herself full of creamed corn. I was thankful for my Aunt Patty who has loved me like I was hers for as long as I can remember. I was thankful for Uncle Steve and his generous and loving spirit that made his home the perfect place for our celebration. I was thankful for Aunt Beth, who despite all of the hell she has been through in the last year, still made this Thanksgiving just as yummy and wonderful as all of the others have been. I was thankful for Uncle Garland who is by far one my favorite people in the world and loves my babies so much that he sent us home with some of his creamed corn for Scooter to enjoy all the way in TN. I was thankful for my daddy who makes me laugh and makes watching football fun for me. I was thankful for my cousin Zack and the fact that he was there with us after the recent scare he had with his health. I was thankful for my mom and the way she loved me enough to stop eating her food and chase Presley so that I could eat and enjoy mine! I was thankful for my healthy beautiful babies that were lighting up every room they went in. I was thankful for my brother and his friendship and the way he loves me. I was thankful for my cousin Jenni (Biz) who blessed our food and praised Jesus with so much love that she brought us to tears. I was thankful for Doc, for every single second of my life with him. I was thankful beyond words and for just a moment I took it all in with all of my senses and praised Him. It was wonderful.
Then it was over. Just like that. I looked at Doc when we got into the truck and said "well there went Thanksgiving!" It was wonderful but fast, just like our lives have been for the last 5 years. Wonderful but too fast. I am so grateful for all of my blessings and for moments like I had at Thanksgiving where I get to take a minute and really appreciate them. I am going to pray for more of those in this fleeting moment of time we call life. I am afraid of I don't get them, I will miss it, all of it. One day I will wake up and my girls will be grown and my body will be old and when I do I don't want to wish for the time back, I want to be thankful that I enjoyed every second of it!
I pray that your holiday was full of thanks and family and love!! Not so long from now we get to celebrate the best day of the year, Jesus' birthday. Make a cake, sing a song, do whatever you do to make birthdays fun but remind your family what Christmas is all about friends!! And don't forget, Santa is watching ;).
Love and Blessings,