Thanksgiving from the grateful heart of a Fiftymuch


A perfectly perfect morning. Rolls are rising, salad’s made, coffee’s good. Family is on the way for a bountiful feast they are helping to provide. We’ve discussed the pros and cons of rotisserie versus oven roasting and are ready to put the leaves in the table, stretching it to accomodate 13 dear ones. Big old Russett potatoes await peeling, and celery and onions will soon release that unfortgettable Thanksgiving aroma. That aroma takes me back to memories of my Mom, up early, wrestling a big turkey into the oven, baking pumpkin pies and rolls. She loved cooking the big meal because she loved gathering her family around the table. Well, tables, I mean. We usually stretched the dinner table with a card table or two. So, too, today we carry on that tradition. A day to give thanks to God for all He has given us individually, as a family and as a nation.

Today is also my birthday and I’ve already received two gifts. One was a phone call from my son in India. He called last night, but told me it was already my birthday there! What a gift that call was. And, I gave myself the other gift: A hot-buttered, homemade roll at one minute after midnight when I took the first batch out of the oven. I sat by the fire, counting my many blessings, and savored that roll.

I was born on Thanksgiving Day and often the two days coincide. Because of that, my memories of home and family, good food and fun are all mixed up together as Thanksgiving/Birthday. While talking to friends this week, lamenting the fact that I’m so slow to learn life lessons, I told them, “Here I am, Fiftymuch, and I still have so much to learn!” I honestly can rarely remember how old I am. Sometimes I think I’m a year younger than I am and other times I think I’m a year older. Inside, I feel pretty young. Outside, not so much. So, after being teased a bit about my guesstimate of Fiftymuch, I’ve decided that’s the age I’m sticking with for a few more years.

I finished a good book this morning in my sofa/afghan nest. Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner. Lauren, a fairly recent convert to Christianity from Judaism, has written this delightful little book with the subtitle: An Invitation to a Life of Spiritual Discipline. That’s an ok, subtitle, but it doesn’t really explain the content well. What really was meaningful to me were the contrasts and comparisons between Judaism and Christianity in the way we mark our days, with ritual, practice and symbolism. The chapters include sabbath, mourning, hospitality, prayer, aging, candle-lighting and doorposts. In the chapter on aging she says: “Aging is not just a process of physical decline. It can also be a time of the kind of stripping away that fosters spiritual depth, spiritual incline.” So today I am Fiftymuch, not over the hill, but actually chugging upward. Maybe a bit more out of breath and with aching muscles, but nonetheless chugging upward. And I’m filled with Thanksgiving.

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Published in: on November 26, 2009 at 5:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

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