Thanksgiving this year was a climactic event for me, preceded by a week full of time with family and friends.
On the Tuesday before Adam and I celebrated our 14th anniversary doing what we like–eating out, browsing the bookstore, and watching a movie. It is hard to believe it has been 14 years. I am grateful beyond words.
Friday we traveled to Murfreesboro to spend the weekend with friends from graduate school. We had planned the trip already and I later learned that a dear friend from high school was also moving to Murfreesboro and would be there by the time we visited. We began our time by having dinner with my friend Tara and her family. The last time we had seen each other was shortly after my twins and her first son were born 9 1/2 years ago. We have stayed in touch over the years, sometimes frequently and other times infrequently. She has been to me one of those friends that is close to my heart no matter how much time and distance separate us, though we have often expressed the desire to live closer. It was a joy and desire long wished for to listen to our children play together and to sit and talk face to face.
We went from there to our friends’, Ryan and Amy, house where our children needed no time at all to get reacquainted before diving into play. It is a new stage of life for me to have children old enough to play independently with other people’s children and not need or want much intervention from me. There was hardly a quarrel the entire weekend and no one was ready to go home. The grown-ups enjoyed a whole weekend of conversation about all sorts of things and I am so grateful for these friends that so make it so easy to be ourselves.
Monday morning the boys and I went to visit our friends, Bill and Mary, where we feasted on our choice of 2 soups and chicken salad while catching up on each others’ lives. The boys were given TWO ice-cream desserts and we were sent home laden with treats from these people who are family to us.
Tuesday morning we were visited by the Roberts as they made their Thanksgiving travel route. It was a quick visit, but it was so good to gather again around the table with these friends who have shared so much of our lives. We weren’t ready to see them go.
Later that day I took the boys to their Gran’s house because their cousins were there also and wanted them to come and play. It worked out perfectly that they could go while I went to some appointments. When I called to tell Kathy I was done she said they were getting ready to make caramel apples and I could come help if I wanted or wait and come later. I went home and fixed supper in the quiet house, thankful for her and other grandparents who make memories like this with my children. (Caramel apples is a cooking venture I have declined undertaking myself.)
Wednesday we spent at home. It was a beautiful day and the boys and I spent it outside raking leaves, turning over the garden, and playing. It was a relaxing day of talking and being together and one of the boys summed it up perfectly by saying, “This was such a fun day.”
So Thanksgiving Day arrived and my heart was full. There have been times in my life that I have wrestled with loneliness. Sometimes I still do. This week though has reminded me of the many people God has placed in my life. And these are only some of them. We headed off Thursday morning for Lineville to spend the day at Adam’s grandparents’ house with them and Ron and Paula and other extended family. Stories were shared and music played and we talked about plans for making more memories. The boys ate in the camper, rode the motorcycle with Ron, got a lesson in starting a fire and rode the tractor with Papa Joe. We walked in the woods and they played on a pile of dirt and got dirty and we ate wonderful food together. I’m certain the boys’ plates of sweets was bigger than their dinner plates. Adam asked on the way home if I enjoyed the day. I answered that I have never been to Papa Joe’s house and not enjoyed the day.
As we drove home and I saw parking lots crowded with people shopping I felt the need for nothing more. My life is full of wonderful people who love me and teach me how to love. I am thankful.