"Father, help me to take the time to create stories with my grandchildren. May good memories hold the generations together. Amen."
As I reflect upon another Thanksgiving holiday, I can't help but remember Thanksgivings past. On one Thanksgiving years ago I journaled the following:
"I am thankful that my parents loved each other and were affectionate with one another. It set a good example for us kids. I am thankful I grew up in the '50's and '60's when family values included working hard for what you have, respecting adults, your parents, teachers, authority--families attended church together. As a family, more often than not, we kids played outside ALL day and were called home for lunch or dinner. We were expected to behave at home and outside of home. More often than not, we didn't have TV. We never had video or computer games, cell phones, DVDs, boomboxes or IPODS. We climbed trees, built forts, tunnels, played outside in the playhouse, or on the homemade swing set. I am thankful I learned about Jesus. I'm thankful our Dad instilled a love for the outdoors (with exception the beach!). I am so thankful Mom loved to tell stories from her happy childhood."
As a child it was our tradition to gather with the local Wallace relatives--when it was at our house, I was amazed that all those people could crowd into my mother's ultra-tiny kitchen and pull that dinner off. My Daddy always carved the turkey with great aplomb, and later all the men would stretch out across the living room floor and sleep off the huge meal. And there was always a "kids table" set up somewhere. Of course, the kids were relegated to the outdoors until time for pumpkin and my mom's fabulous cherry pie. Not much has changed, only the location, many family members are gone, but new little ones continue to be added to the family tree and despite family spread out all over the world, a nucleous will still gather.
Today there is so much and almost too much to be thankful for. Now my husband and I have many grandchildren--and the year that is about to close has been filled with precious moments with each of them. There have been many important family events this year, births, weddings, birthdays, parties, and holiday celebrations. There are several in our family in harms way serving out their duty to this great nation we are privileged to live in--and I am thankful for them. The extended family stays in touch, and God has seen fit to give my parents one more year to love each other and for us to help as much as we can--on Christmas Eve they will celebrate 65 years! And God has given my husband and I our 37th year together--and he still loves me--wonder of wonders!
So today my heart is thankful, truly thankful, for the gifts God has given, trials and blessings, testings and triumph, filling another busy year. It all comes from Him. Tomorrow, my Alaska family will have friends over--Annie's family will be alone--and Fred and Charif will be at her family's. So my sister and oldest daughter and Fred and I will take dinner over to my parents' to celebrate. It should be a simple and quiet day while we remember our loved ones so far away and draw them close to our hearts on this very special day!
A few highlights from the year: