Monday, November 30, 2009

Well the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend is over. It was a wonderful one. My family has been blessed beyond belief. This year we were able to bring my dad back to his home for a visit, his first in sixteen months. One year ago dad was in the hospital. His doctors called us together and told us he didn’t expect dad to survive the night. At the hospital they didn’t expect a miracle. But we did !!! Having dad back in his own recliner even if just for the afternoon made Thursday one of the best Thanksgivings ever.

I spent time this week remembering a lot of my Thanksgivings past. I remember ones spent with mom, dad and my little sis thousands of miles from loved ones. Especially strong is the memory of thanksgiving spent on a Pacific Island where turkeys were unknown. But we did have coconut pie made with fresh coconut from a tree right outside our door. The table center piece was a gobbler made from another whole coconut with palm frond feathers. I always grin at that thought. Another fond memory is the times when the entire extended family was together. My Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, cousins and other people, not really related, but thought of as family. Those Thanksgivings always had 50 or 60 adults and a multitude of kids running around. There was always plenty to eat and naps for every one afterward, well except for us boys who always set up a game of backyard football. One year when I was in college we were playing our game when a group of guys happened up and asked if they could join in. I realized several of them were part of the University of Georgia National Championship team. Needless to say we lost.

Another Thanksgiving that stands out was one before I met my wife. I had just started a new job and didn’t have the money nor the time-off to go home that year. So I was truly alone on Turkey day. All the restaurants seemed closed and I drove to the Waffle House on the highway at the edge of town. For those who have never enjoyed them, the Waffle House is a roadside diner style chain, popular with truckers and late night travelers. I remember the waitress. She was an older lady, probably named Alice or Flo, I really don’t remember. I think I was her only customer all day. On that holiday I believe she was as lonely as I was. She was working alone because everyone else needed the day off. Sitting at the counter I ordered coffee and we talked as she grilled us up a big steak and plate of hash browns. Then we split a stack of pecan waffles for dessert. I stayed there talking, just talking and sipping coffee with her nearly five hours. She was at least twenty or twenty-five years older than me. We talked about the life, the world and her adventures in it. She had been most everywhere. One of the most fascinating people I’ve ever met. Though I ate there many more times I never saw her there again.

I treasure all these memories I have been truly blessed. I have friends and family who love and care for me. I am not alone, lonely, cold, or hungry. I have more to thankful for than I could ever list.


I am thankful.

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