The Lord provided the perfect weather for a wonderful Thanksgiving Day here in Texas. It was a beautiful, quite cool day. We have had more fall colors this year than I remember in a long time. I don’t know if it was the drought, the latter rains, or both that gave us all these reds, oranges, and yellows, but whatever it was, this Autumn has been wonderful!
The first picture is an area on the way from Dannye’s to Mama’s. I had to try to catch the beauty, even though I am NOT a photographer, and I had Dannye’s two dogs in the car with me. (We are dog-sitting while Dan is in Florida with Pam and Will.) I always think of Emily when I see these beautiful trees. That is one thing she longed for while she was here – Fall colors. We don’t have near the colors I’ve seen in places like Vermont, Colorado, and other northern places, but this year they are amazing.
This is a pasture near our home. These colorful red trees are just scattered around in the pasture, with more green and yellow trees around the edges. The pictures don’t do it justice, but I just wanted to show a little glimpse of my drive to and from work each day.
The night before Thanksgiving I was up until 3:00 a.m. baking for the next day! I really enjoyed it, though. It was all quiet in the house except for my favorite HGTV programs playing quietly in the den while I chopped, blended, and baked in the kitchen. It was great!
Thursday morning, I was able to sleep in because our dinner was scheduled for 7:00 that night due to Kenny’s work hours. I really thought I would take loads of photos as the day went on, but got so busy that I really didn’t have time. Bill was working outside all day, and with my main photographer in Florida, no photos of prep time.
Karla (and family) came around noon, and the work began. Karla is the turkey/dressing part of this Thanksgiving team, and she got it prepared and into the roaster while I got Mama and Daddy settled. We needed snack-y foods since dinner was going to be so late, so we got all that ready, too. One thing I have been doing since I have been “forced” to be in charge of Thanksgiving is more decorating and actually setting a pretty table. I have been collecting harvest/Thanksgiving decorations over the years, and Mama has as well. It was nice to have such a collection to choose from!
After all the food preparations were well in hand, I went to shower and change while Amy and Karla decorated the table. My goal for the last two years has been to have the whole family at one table. At Mama’s, that isn’t possible with her kitchen setup, so we have moved out her small round table, set up two folding tables pushed together and covered as one. These tables are also moved up against the bar for a bit more room. Anyway, Amy and Karla did a beautiful job with all the stuff we had available.
The place cards had bits of information about the first Thanksgiving with a question to answer about your own thankfulness. We went around the table and answered our questions and talked about many things the cards brought to mind.
I love getting Mama and Daddy talking about the things these questions prod from their minds. It can be so difficult since Daddy can’t hear well and really doesn’t have a good attention span anymore, so often interrupts when others are speaking. Mama simply can’t get her words out well – sometimes not at all! But it is so good to hear what is in their minds and on their hearts.
I also love hearing from Kenny and Missy. They are both talkers, but they mostly talk about happenings, not feelings. Missy talks about animals, riding her horse, her computer, and events in her life, while Kenny, if he talks at all, usually speaks of his work at Wal-Mart, the games he’s playing on his computer, or the latest book he is reading. We hear about their feelings once a year when Nonnie forces it out of them at Thanksgiving! They are so sweet about it, and really try to participate. It’s nice to know what goes on in their hearts!
Karla is another surprise when sharing. Karla is a chatterer like most Allens, but again, her conversations are usually about events in her life, not about her feelings. When she shares, though, I am always touched by what she says. This year I was reminded that my sister in law has spent 21 years miles away from her family to be here with her husband and his family; that she has now lost her Daddy, whom she loved and admired so much and that she feels his loss deeply as we pass through these holidays.
Michael, Amy, Dave, Bill and I also shared answers to our questions, and it was really nice to slow down a minute to truly reflect on the reason for this holiday, and the One to whom we owe such a great debt of gratitude! Indeed, we have so very much to be thankful for!
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and made lots of memories to treasure in your hearts. I told Daddy and Mama that I am truly thankful for this time with them, and I can honestly say I wouldn’t have it any other way!
God bless your day!