Yep, this Thanksgiving I am beyond thankful. FYI, the "spectrum" reference in the caption is not the Autism Spectrum, which affects two of our grandsons. Nope. They are every bit as adorable and amazing as the rest of the bunch. Cousins together? Epic!
But the political spectrum - that's another story! Collectively, we voted for every candidate out there. In a normal election year, we would be over it long before Thanksgiving. Not this year. Blame global warming.
With that in mind, in recent weeks I have stormed heaven with this prayer:
Still, I have been filled with trepidation. Foreboding, even.
So, this morning, when I am already missing the dozen faces we rarely see together in one room, I recognize the fruits of answered prayers. Here, in random order, are a few of the blessings that fill me with profound gratitude:
- That despite all the craziness in their lives, everyone got there!!
- That D3 (who hosted) is an amazing cook. Ditto D1 and D2!
- For the Caramel Apple Sangria.
- For the son-in-law who took kids outdoors to ride the tractor, see the rabbit, hit the baseball, climb the woodpile, watch an Amish buggy clip-clop past.
- That I brought the gravy separator.
- That the two teens still sit at the kids' table as if they aren't taller than most of the adults, still pretend to laugh at our jokes, still hug grandparents.
- That the two most ardent politicos (yes, opposite ends of that spectrum) were completely civil when they briefly talked politics.
- That no one else mentioned the election (at least within earshot).
- That no one laughed too hard when I kept stirring the same dry spot in the gravy pan as I sipped sangria.
- That, even though he was cooking up a sinus thing, Mr. Wonderful powered through.
- That our three daughters are still hilarious together.
- That D3 did not have to wonder if the appetizers were tasty - just where they went.
- For astounding, abundant facts about grasshoppers (insect, not beverage).
- That we got a great picture (as well as several silly outtakes) of D1, D2 and D3 with Mr. Wonderful.
- For a quiet moment with heads bowed in prayer.
- For loved ones gone before us who were surely there in spirit.
- For Disney movies.
- For sons-in-law whose low-key presence is exactly what the younger kids needed.
- For a precious conversation between a six-year-old on that other spectrum and his two-year-old cousin.
- For a son-in-law and grandson who cleaned the entire kitchen without being asked!
- For D3's brilliant strategy (dessert bribery) to get a group photo when it seemed all hope was lost.
- For 6 a.m. Black Friday sales with all the girls, and for the guys who held down the fort while we shopped.
But most of all, I thank God for His amazing goodness. For these memories. Each daughter, son-in-law and grandchild is a precious, one-of-a-kind gift. No one could ever deserve such blessings! And yet, they surrounded our Thanksgiving table.
And that's not the sangria talking.