Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Day

She pulled up the skirt of her day dress and stepped right in the wagon.  It gave us all confidence that we too would live long and healthy lives.  She was 85 and she wasn't about to be left behind when the wagon full of hay and silliness took off over the Nebraska hills.  Great grandkids remember.  Maybe not her face, but her willingness to live. 

No other time of year brings so many memories.  Corn shucking and story telling.  Pig borrowing and pheasants.  The farm seeps through the now and the making of soup. 

For years it was the time to gather.  Mom was the magnet and we all swooped in.  Dad prepared the farm for the city grandkids, and if he didn't have what he needed, he borrowed them from Archie.  After all, the grandkids needed to hold baby pigs. 

The meal was never the kicker.  The gathering was.  The stories were.  Imagine, all the grandkids sitting around a galvanized tub with corn cobs in their hands.  Fill the tub with corn, kids.  Fill the tub with corn.  And, while they're filling, the stories roll.  They all remember.  Thanksgiving has touched them and they will never be the same. 

It's the great grandma who wouldn't quit, the grandma who forgot the potatoes, the grandpa who oiled the tractor, the parents who drove forever, and the kids who looked wide eyed at  everything and dreamed of their own someday.  Thanksgiving has a magic of it's very own. 

Today, our Thanksgiving was connected to then.  Very different and exactly the same.  Magic.  Mom was here, great grandma helped to make the soup, dad shared a brandy with me, and all the kids gathered with their kids to share the joy of a life together.  They were far, far away in miles and in reality, but they were here, shucking corn and telling stories. 

Jed slept most of the day.  I wonder how thankful he is for his pain?  Memories blend with reality to make this day a day of it's very own.  How thankful for the heritage, how awed by the future.  We're come to a point with Jed where we're not sure whether he is, "going down hill," or whether this is just another "phase."  Pain is his life.  Pills are his life. 

For me, I am thankful for the grandma who wouldn't say no to a wagon ride, for the mom who laughed at forgetting the potatoes, for the father who borrowed pigs and drank brandy, for the brothers who dreamed dreams and protected me, and for my own, who have ran races and put on roofs.  All these give me strength to face the pain and the pills of tomorrow.  Thanksgiving indeed. 


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