I sit on the back steps at my parents’ place looking out into the woods. It is quiet and peaceful up here on top of the mountain. If I open the door and step back inside I’ll be met with the cacophony of sound that always accompanies our family when we are all together, but for now all I hear is the wind in the almost barren trees on this 165 acres. I couldn’t have sat out here on Thanksgiving day. It was cold and windy. Unseasonable temperatures for November in Tennessee. We even woke up to a little bit of snow on the ground. We will be leaving to head home in just a few minutes and I wanted to spend some time thinking about the past few days.
The cousins brought a go cart this year. The kids have had a great time tearing around the trails that lead all around the place. Even getting stuck a couple of times in the mud didn’t dampen their enthusiasm. They had the four wheeler out as well. They came back muddy and with hands and faces reddened and cold as ice.
Thanksgiving dinner was so good. Deep fried turkey, cornbread dressing, peas and cheese (Mike’s favorite), sweet potatoes with caramel sauce (thanks, Naomi!), more sides than I could count and an insane pumpkin tart that my brother made filled our bellies and left us all groaning a bit.
Then came the best part. The part where we sit around and retell all our favorite family stories. It starts at the adult table, but one by one the kids come over until we are all crowded around taking turns seeing who can tell the best stories. It’s what we do. We are a family of story tellers. We’ve never met a story we didn’t want to tell or that we couldn’t make even better with just a few embelishments. Most of them come complete with gestures that sometimes involve actually getting up out of your seat to perform.
We laugh so hard. I don’t care how many times we have heard these stories, they still crack us up.
This year after the story telling we decided to try to take a selfie. Scott did a great job.
Do you see these faces? These are my people. I look at this picture and I just see miracle after miracle after miracle. Miracles of healing. Miracles of birth after years of infertility. Miracles of mended broken relationships. Of love that found its way after too many years apart. Late in life babies who bring more joy and laughter than we could have ever hoped for. We’ve seen more than our fair share of grace. And while we could certainly always love each other better, we could never love each other more.
This is what I think about as I sit on the back porch. Saying goodbye is always sad. We are all so very aware of how things can change so quickly. How life can be turned on its ear with just a phone call. How blessed we are to have had another Thanksgiving together. Living and loving and laughing.
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.