On Thursday morning at 10:00 I was standing in front of a congregation in my church for Thanksgiving Day worship. It was a small but active group (many good singers among them); we also are a part of an ecumenical Thanksgiving Eve service where our choir joins with three other churches. I preached on both occasions so the sermon was the same, but we did a lot of singing on Thursday morning, including "Sing to the Lord of Harvest." It just isn't Thanksgiving if you don't sing this particular tune.
A couple of hours later, we were on a plane and landing in a Nearby Large City where my husband's sister and extended family were hosting Thanksgiving Dinner.
It was a large, happy, noisy crowd. There was lots of laughing, there were lots of children (eight and under), lots of food, including the famous White Jello, which I have made on occasion, with some success (some of the time.) At one point I went upstairs and crashed, missing the pie. They did leave some for me.
It's good to get away. It's good to give thanks.
It's been noisy and it's been quiet this Thanksgiving. I miss the smaller celebrations with my family, but I do enjoy being a part of the bustle and hustle, and I love all the children.
This morning it's quiet again, but last night the family came over again, and we had a noisy delicious dinner of spaghetti casserole. My husband's sister is a good cook, one of her many gifts. She also has the gift of making people feel welcome, and of not making a big deal about mishaps. She rolls with the punches. They were the first place we took our dog when she was a puppy, and it turned out to be the best idea.
So at the large Thanksgiving Dinner, I talked to a couple of people from the family I knew well, and met a new member of the family. Among other things, she recommended a book to me: "The Warmth of Other Suns." (I will read this.)
The next day we did a little shopping (though not at a large mall), and I found this wonderful picture book, "Balloons Over Broadway: the True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade". (links later, I hope). I am still working on the shawl with bobbles.
And I'm reading, at odd, quiet moments, Father Greg Boyle's book, "Tattoos on the Heart." Makes me cry. And it makes me realize how many of us, and how much of the time, we really really don't believe in the power of grace.