Happy day before Thanksgiving! Tomorrow most of us will head to a family gathering or open our door to welcome family and friends inside. The house will already have all of those familiar scents of the day — cinnamon, apples, bread and of course that heavenly smell of roasted turkey.
The table will be set with the special holiday dishes — cloth napkins make their yearly appearance and special serving bowls, platters and silver serving pieces grace the table.
Depending on the time of day your group begins the meal, there might even be candles flickering.
If your group is anything like mine, it is rather loud on this day. People laugh and talk over one another — all anxious to get their opinion heard or story told. There are one or maybe two football games in the background — the die-hard fans never stray far from the screens. Christmas music plays — competing with the football games and the rest of the noise in the house.
When dinner is finally ready, there is that moment when everybody is seated and perhaps holds hands and closes their eyes to hear the host or hostess say grace. My father, when he was alive, always said grace.
When he was younger, he said a fairly quick grace, but as he got older, it got longer and the emotion in his voice increased every year. I remember the last Thanksgiving grace he said before he passed away months later. He thanked God for all of us — for my mom, his four children and their spouses, his 11 grandchildren and for his wonderful life. Dad’s voice cracked and he paused a few times to shed a few tears. I don’t think anybody had a dry eye during that grace.
Thanksgiving Day is all about giving thanks for what we have and for who we have in our lives. Of course, it is also about thanking God for who we had in our lives. We will surely be thanking God tomorrow for my parents — they were, and mom still is, such a blessing in our lives.
We began the tradition, when our children were quite young, of going around the table and saying what we were particularly thankful for. When the children were young, their thoughts and comments were always quite amusing. I still love hearing their thoughtful words every year.
Thinking about all of those people in California who are dealing with those blazing fires and their aftermath is heartbreaking. And entire town, that of Paradise, California, is gone — burned to the ground. All of those people who lost their lives — and as of this writing there are still hundreds of people missing and unaccounted for. We will say a special prayer for all of those people and the firefighters who are on the front lines.
As I write this, it is raining outside. The rain has been falling for days. It is dark, windy and cold. Yet I am warm as I can be. This kind of weather always reminds me of the homeless — those who likely cannot get warm or feel safe. Let’s all say a prayer for the homeless and for the kind souls who continuously volunteer to help them. Please support, as you are able, organizations that reach out to this population.
I love this time of year. I am thankful for so much and feel blessed by so many. My hope and prayer is that all of my readers have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. I hope you spend the day with your family and/or friends, have a fantastic meal and tell each other what you are thankful for.
Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
South Forsyth resident Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.