Sunday, November 27, 2005

Thanksgiving is starting to grow on me

I woke up at 6 a.m. to the sound of a snow plow, complete with the flashing yellow light seeping through the blinds. They don’t plow the streets around here unless there really is snow, and sure enough, there was four to six inches on the ground. Let’s hear it for lake effect snow!
Mom, who is a big believer that “things happen for a reason,” told me when I called her and said the family wouldn’t be able to visit for Thanksgiving that there was probably a reason.
Now that it’s snowing, she’ll feel the flu bug was just God’s little way of keeping our family from traveling over the ice and drifting snow back from Grandmother’s house.
But in spite of the unfortunate beginning of this holiday, I’ve ended up having a good time. We went to “Harry Potter,” together, played in paper, put up the Christmas tree and right now the boys are setting up an elaborate railroad system under the tree with their Thomas the Tank Engine set.
They are both past the age of Thomas, but every year at Christmas time when we pull out the Christmas village, Tomas and friends come out to play, too. I guess it has become an unofficial tradition.

While this weekend did not go the way I wanted it too, it has been charming nevertheless.I’ve been thinking about Thanksgiving as a holiday.

When I was a child I didn’t quite get the whole Thanksgiving feast business. We didn’t have a lot of extended family to visit on Thanksgiving, my mother was an only child and my father had one brother who lived across the country and never visited. I think I’ve met him three times in my life. We lived next-door to my grandparents, so having them come for dinner wasn’t much of a novelty, and I wasn’t a fan of the traditional holiday fare.

But things began to change when my older sisters went away to college and came home for Thanksgiving.After many meals of meeting new family members-to-be and new babies, the holiday became a bit more interesting. It has only been in the past 12 years or so, sadly since the death of my Father, that I have truly learned to appreciate the family gathering aspect of the day.

I have three sisters, but for reasons I can’t precisely explain, two of them don’t usually attend these family get-togethers.

But my Wyoming sisters’ oldest children have grown, and her daughter has children of her own. My brother, sister, niece and I all have children the same age and it’s a grand gathering.

One of my fondest memories is of the Thanksgiving of 2001. Both nephews had returned home from missions, after not seeing each other for four years because the missions overlapped. The youngest had been scheduled to fly home from his mission in Washington D.C. on Sept. 12. His return was delayed a week because of the events of 9-11.

On this unforgettable Thanksgiving the weather was frosty, but not snowy. After the feasting the young men and women worked off a little energy with an impromptu game of football in the back yard. I get a little glow when I think of the 20-something men scooping up toddlers and running them across the line for a touchdown. I think they knew, even as they were playing, that the memory of the moment would linger for years to come.

I am so thankful I am able to give my children cousins, something I never had. I am so grateful for my family, for their creativity, sardonic humor, kindness to the children, and acceptance of each other.

Do we have warts, yes we do, and plenty of them. But at the heart we also have a grand, good time together.

As you can see, I went a little nuts with the photo of the day. We put up the Christmas tree yestersday and I tried something new {to me} I poked my camera into the tree in the general direction of photographs I wanted and started snapping. Many of them ended up in the trash bin. But I was really pleased with the majority of them.

So many ornaments on the tree have special meaning to me. The top one of the little girl bear was given to my by my DH on our first Christmas. The bear with the stars was given to us by my Mother in memory of our son who was born at 18 weeks and was unable to survive his extreme premature birth.

I have decided to continue making photographs of the ornaments and puting them togehter in a layout, or maybe even a book.


dogmom2six said...

Beautiful photos! You did have a camera-happy day, with awesome results.

Corinnexxx said...

hi alleen!

Beuatiful entry! and those photo's are realy great! I am glad that you had a great thanksgiving!!


Di (Spot-On) said...

loving that top photo! great shot! I agree about holidays and family... I never really 'got it' either till recently. Having my family here with me last Xmas was a real blessing. Having the in-laws this year not so much ;) seriously though I'll be stoked for DH. We haven't seen them for 5 years, living in the US seemed like a good idea at the time but we sure do miss family.

Mandy said...

I love all your pictures!So Christmasy!

Bro said...

I remember turkey day 2001. Good times! Sorry you missed the storm-drive to cap your weekend off but Lisa is doing it sans Kerry. Have a good week!!

Becca said...

I talked about things happening for a reason on my Thanksgiving blog too--turned into a perfect day with only my husband & me.

Love your photos too--gonna try that sticking-the-camera-into-the-tree trick you mentioned!


Wendy Reed (Wishin4MoreTime) said...

Howdy hen!

Beautiful photos and entry today! Love it!

*Paula* said...

Another wonderful entry. I love reading your stories Alleen. Cool idea for taking the photos. I'll have to try that when we get a tree. I especially like the first one of the tree.

Renee said...

Your photos are lovely!

Becky said...

Love your photos, and the entry is very beautiful. So sorry about the baby, but what a beautiful way to remember and cherish his place in your family.

Wyo sis said...

Lisa made it home safely. I also remember that Thanksgiving and it has become a bit of a family legend. Ashlee said the other day that we always played a football game on Thanksgiving when she was little.

amberjane said...

It is so lovely to share your thanksgiving and the pictures are fab - I love the holidays with my family.
Thank you for sharing :)

Julie Ann said...

I love that first shot!

scrappin-Barb said...

Fabulous tree photos! I did that last year too... took pictures of the tree ornaments. First time I'd ever thought to... funny how life as a scrapbooker changes how you see the world. LOL.

And yes, the wooden railway photo made me smile. Thanks for sharing your pictures and thoughts. :)

Karen Carter said...

Love eading your writing. Your ornaments are lovely and I have added you to the drawing!
Hugs, K