Whew! What a Thanksgiving! How was yours? Are you exhausted? Exhilarated? Are you so full of decadent food that you now want nothing but Greek yogurt, salad without dressing, apples, and chicken breasts? Is your house weeping for a good scrub, or is it already shining and sparkling with Christmas? I am somewhere in the middle of all of that good stuff, and happily so. Today I get to clean and decorate the house, run a thousand miles and do yoga, make Christmas cards from scratch, cook something healthy, sew nine aprons to sell, then read and review two books.
My Thanksgiving weekend started with a long, wonderful Wednesday spent with my youngest daughter Jessica. Words cannot relay how refreshing it is to be alone with her, to catch up on her life and her heart, for her voice to fill the room and her arms to wrap around me. We had a girlish meal of hot tea from an antique strawberry tea pot, English muffins with local honey, peppered bacon, and fresh pears and oranges. Feeding her food we both love fed my soul much more than my body. I watched her with the animals, and she is the same as ever. Sweet and confident. I watched her walk across the room, though, and she is suddenly a young woman.
She suited up and helped me inspect the bee hives (good news/ bad news there; more on that tomorrow), proving her sweet spirit with every slow, steady movement. Saying goodbye at the and of the afternoon was painful, always more difficult than I show, and I think she would say the same. But I am deeply grateful for those hours together and for the rest it gives me to reconnect with her. I love her and her big sister so much, so constantly, that words fail me here every time.
That evening Handsome and I attended another Thunder basketball game and screamed our lungs out! It was a close contest from beginning to end which culminated in an overtime victory for our beloved OKC team. So. Much. Fun. And such a great way to release tension!
Watching the games on TV is great, but the entertainment value of a game there at the arena is in its own category of awesome. The music, the lights, the crowd’s energy, the wildness and civic affection of it all, is just unbeatable in my opinion. And the fact that we have a basketball team whose sportsmanship and skill kind of blows everyone else out of the water? Wow. So yes, the two of us are extremely thankful for the gift of game tickets so frequently. What fun!
After some crazy late night grocery shopping on Wednesday, Handsome and I luxuriated Thursday morning then spent many long, carb-filled hours divided between his parents’ house and mine. We laughed with a fraction of our siblings (not everyone lives nearby or could travel this year). We played with nieces and nephews. We made plans to see lots of them next summer. Mostly, I think, we enjoyed seeing our parents happy and busy. It is a blessing not lost on us that we both have our parents alive and well and present in out lives. We love them all so very much and are grateful for all of the work and love that they poured into giving us a happy Thanksgiving!
We had planned for house guests at the end of the week, but last minute changes left us with a clean, empty Apartment, so we did more luxuriating with each other at our own end of the house… Then a leaking hot water tank changed our plans again and some necessary Black Friday shopping for a major appliance tested our holiday resolve. Happily, we passed the test. I even bought poinsettias.
Friday night both sides of our family gathered at the farm for a bonfire, some leftovers, pizza, and roasted marshmallows. I am still so thrilled that we can invite both of our families here and everyone blends in and has a great time together! This is a big source of joy for me, and I also appreciate that everyone is happy to bring treats to share. Watching children from both families play together and make memories warms me up.
I think it’s just perfect that in the United State we celebrate Thanksgiving immediately before the onslaught of Christmas and all of the materialism and consumption that inevitably comes with it. This week I have stopped several times to be actively Thankful, to record my blessings either on paper (the spiral mandala) or on a chalkboard we have screwed to the wall of our stairwell. The chalkboard is a leftover from Brian and Rebecca’s wedding back in May, and we use it for all sorts of things now.
Friday night our families helped fill it up with some really happy graffiti of thanks, and I gotta say… eventually erasing this communal masterpiece will be difficult. I predict these words and scribbles will be up for many weeks. Here is a list of what I found there:
- laughter Laughter is so powerful.
- happy marriage
- my babies
- my home
- Brandy & Marie Okay, who wrote this one? Are you jockeying for an awesome Christmas gift? Because it’s totally working.
- good jobs
- time to play
- …and his love for us
- our parents
- bills paid
- pets Between the households just represented that night, I bet we have easily over a hundred pets.
- good books
- art supplies
- healthy children Amen, amen, amen. Whatever our other struggles, having healthy children is a blessing we should never stop appreciating!
- Matt I am growing a little suspicious of this now…
- the right to bear arms We are in Oklahoma, after all, where the open carry law just passed, and several of our family members are law enforcement. No surprise at this little celebration.
Just look at how often different people mentioned marriage, family, home, and friends. We are obviously thankful for whatever brings love and security. We prize these above so many other things, even as wealthy and indulgent as we are. This floors me and motivates me all at once! Does it you?
So… Happy last week of November to you all! I hope you are off and running in your own beautiful ways to a memorable holiday season. I hope you take time to focus on the things for which you and your loved ones are truly thankful, and build on those rather than bleed your energies out toward things that don’t really matter. Pray for each other. Pray for my sister if you can. Dwell on beauty and possibility every chance you get.
If I accomplish my crazy Monday Tasks list in time, I will be back tomorrow to discuss our Lazy W bee situation and maybe sell you some aprons. Have yourself a fantastic day!!
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments
when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”