Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Saying Grace

November and her unadulterated holiday, Thanksgiving, suit me perfectly. I relish November’s subdued landscape. Like the restricted palette of a novice painter, we concentrate on value rather than color. The leafless trees are now only smudges of violet and pewter. The hills in the distance are an opaque blue topped with snow. On the rare sunny day, we stand like cattle, broadside to catch the sun as it hangs in the south sky, steeling ourselves for winter.

Today was a good November day. Good for spreading manure on the garden and winding up the remaining hoses.  Also good for vaccinating the leftover calves and riding a good horse in the wind. It generally blows in November, cold and clean, and today was no exception.

Thanksgiving is still wholesome in an unwholesome world. I cringed when I saw the huge inflatable turkey on someone’s lawn. There’s no room for plastic décor on Thanksgiving. For me, I hang up the construction paper pilgrims Anna made in kindergarten, place the ceramic turkey on the autumn table runner, and call it good. I buy extra sour cream and cream cheese and a spice scented candle and leave the nonsense for Christmas.

Thanksgiving is, should be, simple. A time for setting down with family, giving thanks, and reflecting on the good things in life. We’ll spend the holiday with Aunt Mona, eating too much, playing word games, and driving home too late, reluctant to leave the leftover turkey and one more sliver of pecan pie. We’ll have grandma’s traditional carrot pudding, heavy on the sauce. We’ll put cheese with vegetables and gravy with potatoes and feel darn good about it!

And we’ll recite the Pratt prayer said at every Thanksgiving since I’ve been in the family:
Give us grateful hearts our Father for all thy blessings, and make us mindful of the needs of others. 

Seth and Anna
Cassie, Gent, Jane, Clyde

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