Thanksgiving Thoughts And Family

I read a comment not too long ago, perhaps here, perhaps at Stella’s place, about why we spend so much more time with family in the fall. Speculation was that we turn more to each other as we leave warm weather behind and come inside for the cold season to come. Whatever our reasons, we do seem to spend more family time together this time of year.

Thanksgiving will be here soon. It’s our family’s epic culinary adventure. We usually have a gathering of 40-50 people, extended family, some friends, occasionally someone brings an acquaintance who is away from home for the holiday.

We have the dinner at my brother’s and sister’s  in law house out in the country. They have a large lot, and the past few years my SIL has had a bouncy house set up for the kids, which is great fun for them, and great for the adults too, as it really keeps them occupied while we are still in food stupor.

I can honestly say that I have never had better food anywhere than I do on Thanksgiving. I would say we go all out, and we kinda do, but the thing is, most of us just bring what we love to cook, and are good at. We never discuss the menu, we’ve got it down. Things may vary from year to year a little, but each of us knows what we are depended upon for.

We see family we might not have seen since last Thanksgiving. Lots of years we ooh over the newest baby in the clan. Two years ago it was Conner, only a few months after his heart surgery, his ribs still knitting together, and his mama on fierce alert, carefully showing those who wanted to hold him how he had to be held and protected. That’s Conner above, at Thanksgiving with the oldest member of our family, Aunt Ruby, who isn’t with us anymore. This year it will be my youngest grandson, Wyatt, at right, who will just have turned six months old, and is upholding the family cuteness and charisma gene. Also, he is clearly a genius.

This has been a tough year for us. Once again we will draw together and renew our strength, coming away stronger from the sharing. No little part of that comes from the prayer we start with, and the gratitude we express. No matter how tough things are, we each realize how very many blessings we have been given.

And so, I got led down a wandering path this morning, thinking of good times to come, as leaves fall and temperatures cool. Thinking also of family, and how fortunate we are to have those people around us, tied to us, who are always behind us, no matter how tough things get. In good times and bad. If you can’t count on people when the tough times come around, you don’t really have family, which is not always defined by blood.

Family means sharing, caring, easing the burden of someone burdened past their own ability to bear it, and thus, keeping the whole family afloat and healthy. Each and every one.

We don’t pick and choose, the picking to be done is in picking up the burden, sharing and caring. We don’t have to approve or disapprove of circumstances, choices, people, decisions. Sharing the burden doesn’t mean judgement, approval, or decision. It just means family.

This year, as always, we have seen that most worthwhile lesson again. In the end, family gathers. And God blesses them as they do so with hope and strength and faith to face another year, more struggles, more joys.

Together they are stronger.

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91 Responses to Thanksgiving Thoughts And Family

  1. positron1352 says:

    May God bless you and your beautiful family. Enjoy your precious time together. Good health to all!


  2. American Bulldog says:

    May God continue blessing you and yours…I am wishing for you, the best Thanksgiving ever this year. Thanks for sharing, reflecting and reminding us of what is most important!


  3. kyasgrandma says:

    Thank you, Menagerie, for sharing your life and these pictures. I love to hear the stories of other women and their lives and the living of them.
    Aunt Ruby – such a lovely woman and so genteel. She reminds me of the saying “as delicate as lace” but I would imagine she was a “Steel Magnolia.” Women of that type were a great influence in my life. I miss them always.
    And those beautiful babies! Mother always said that babies are God’s opinion that the world should go on.
    May God bless all children with abundant life.

    I pray it Lord.

    Our Thanksgiving this year is special. We recently returned home. To live.
    I clicked my heels and said “There’s no place like home” for many, many, many years. And finally, thanks to what many would label “Coincidence” -but what I know and recognize can only be God’s providence- we are here.
    Here in the midst of many necessary ongoing home repairs…here in a place not at all as it was when we left…here with some of my siblings and friends who, like me, are more wrinkled and grayer and a little stooped. But we are all still living!
    I am deeply grateful as I stand amazed that God plucked us from a place and set us here in six quick weeks. A house bought and a house quickly sold and a Uhaul or two with help from “Two Men and a Truck” and we are home. The place where I began this life and the place where I will quit this life for my eternal home and my real life with Jesus.

    Thank You, Lord.

    In the midst of this time, we also welcomed a new grandson. I have not yet seen him in person. That is sad to me as I don’t know when I will hold him close and whisper “I love you” just as I did his sister many times.
    But, I am certain “…he is clearly a genius” too.
    Mother always said, “Every hen thinks her chicks are the cutest.” I know mine are.

    Thank You, Lord.

    I thank God for the privilege of sharing our faith and our stories on this site.
    I thank God that His people still exist – people who are truth tellers and freedom upholders.
    I thank God for His mercy and compassion and for so often giving us the desires of our hearts.
    And I praise God for His Son – my Savior and my Redeemer whom I love so much – Jesus Christ.
    Let all those in Heaven and on earth say, “Amen!”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. grandmotherpatriot says:

    In the past couple years my Thanksgiving are spent at the VA giving back to those that gave us our Freedom .
    Most of family reside in different states which make its hard to see everyone but, they’re in my heart and prayers.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. belle819 says:

    This year I am going to be thankful for my family, my fine friends, canine, feline and other, Sundance and the Treepers, I am confident I am not alone, there are so many other people that want common sense solutions and see the absurdity of it all, who ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?


  6. Rex says:

    May God bless and keep you and yours, Menagerie.
    Hectic day. I wanted to say something, but didn’t get a chance until now.
    I’ve been thinking about a hymn we sing in an old country Baptist church…

    “..Count your blessings, name them one by one,
    Count your blessings, see what God has done!..”

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Minnie says:

    Thank you, menagerie, for the beautiful reminder of what is truly important.

    Family means EVERYTHING ❤️

    Thank you for sharing your lovely family with us, as well, you are all blessed 🙏


  8. filia.aurea says:

    Sadly (or not) my kitchen remodeling won’t be finished in time for a traditional dinner. I’ve decided to serve a buffet-style meal, and will deep fry a turkey outside, and make fresh cranberry sauce on a camping stove. I’m experimenting with some new side-dish recipes ahead of time, so hopefully no surprises. I’m quite looking forward to a more relaxing day! Although we thank God for our blessings every day, breaking bread with friends and family on Thanksgiving takes on a deeper meaning and sense of gratitude.


  9. auntiefran413 says:

    Thanksgiving — my all-time favorite holiday, for all the reasons expressed here by persons far more articulate than I. May God bless each and every one of you and all those we care about.


  10. Wow, that sounds like an amazing Thanksgiving! I love the idea of a pot-luck dinner. I may borrow that idea in the future. Thanksgiving has a way of bringing family and friends together to share a meal and for fellowship. You nailed it when you wrote about the way a family shares and cares. The way we lessen the burden for each other. Thank you for sharing your posts. I enjoy reading them. If you would like to read my blog, here is the link: Bears Repeating . I blog about my kid’s consignment store, family and food. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Really enjoyed your post. Yes, counting on people…. so important. This is an idea that I am trying to spread this holiday season. If you like it, please share it! Thanks, Rita


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