Monthly Archives: November 2013

Thanksgiving Memories

autumn glories 5I remember that time like it was yesterday. For weeks I, a college student at the University, would count off the days until Thanksgiving break. While studying in the vast college library I would imagine the sights and sounds of my hometown. On each page of those old textbooks I could see another picture of the place that I loved so much.  Most of all, I saw my family.

Yes, studying and completing those papers was hard. My heart was not in them but the incentive of going home kept me working through those sluggish feelings. Until the day finally came to go home.

That old white suitcase was so jammed with my belongings that I had to practically sit on it to get it to close. After doing that I threw on my grey winter coat, picked up the heavy luggage and walked clear across campus. Yes, the winds blew across that upstate New York campus and I oftentimes had to lower my  head into my scarf so that I could breathe. That walk was long but it didn’t even bother me. No, each step got me closer to the bus station and I was going home.

I can still feel the excitement as that old Trailways bus pulled up in front of me. Somehow, I’ll never know how, I managed to get that luggage place underneath in the storage section of the bus, and I crawled  up the steps and took my seat. There were people sitting on all sides around me but no one could see that ocean of happy heart beating joy that I felt that day. I glanced at my watch and calculated seven hours. In seven hours I would be home. My home.

It was hard to read and even harder to sleep as the bus sped down those New York highways. I could imagine my Mom busily fixing the pumpkin pie and mincemeat pie and how delicious it must smell. She’d promised to not do the chocolate chip cookies until I got home. But it wasn’t just the cooking and baking that I loved. No, it was each member of my family. I had memorized them all so well that for hours as the bus journeyed across the state I could be lost in thought remembering the sound of their voices and their mannerisms. Family life is like that, I guess. We know each other so well.

Finally we passed the last stop until my town. I sat up closer and stared out the windows watching the familiar landscape quickly passing and knowing that in a few minutes the bus would pull in front of the old newpaper shop on North Avenue and I would be home. Round the corner and down the street the bus rolled. My hands grew sweaty with excitement and I sat up straighter. Almost there……

And then I saw out of the bus window the most beautiful sight in the world.

My Mom.  Wearing her familiar dark blue coat and flat brown shoes to help her walk easier. Polio when she was younger had left her with a limp and made walking harder for her. But there she was. Waiting.

She had walked long blocks to get to the bus station after doing all of that cooking. A big smile wreathed  her face as I hurriedly stepped out of the bus and ran into her arms.

Home.  Finally home. My heart was home where it belonged. Thanksgiving had begun.

Holding Hands and Bowed Heads

Thanksgiving pastMy heart overflows with thanksgiving for so many things –

blessings of health

and blessings of care

but probably at this time of year more than any other

my heart turns toward home

and the blessings of loved one He has placed in my life.

Life was not always  easy growing up at a time when black and white TV was exciting

and the 5 and 10 cent store was the norm  but it was good.

Yes, it was good.

My parents worked hard to provide for my two brothers and sister and I

and Thanksgiving always was celebrated together

holding hands with heads bowed

thanking the Lord for His many blessings.

Memories of those days of long ago

and those thanksgiving prayers

warm my heart today many years later.

Some things have changed

but that sense of living bowed before His Presence remains.

Knowing that He is our Lord and that He is the One Who provides for us.

As I begin gathering extra potatoes, vegetables, pumpkin and cranberries

and order the turkey- yes, the biggest turkey-

Thanksgivings of the past become one with Thanksgiving now.

May my heart bow low before Him

alive with the wonder that He is the same. Always the same.

Love enfolding all our hearts and drawing us to Himself

for His Purpose and Peace.

 

 

 

Scarlet Threads Of Love

heaven on earth Remembrance Day

My thoughts wander back to stories shared by my Dad of World War II.

Stories of horror – stories of hope;

Stories of lives lost and stories of amazing survivals.

And while there is no way that I can possibly understand what it was like

through simple words  and unembellished tales

my heart pieces together a time when young life was laid down

and sacrifice was made.

Meanwhile on the other side of the world my mother wrote letters to the one she loved.

Thousands of letters of hope and encouragement.

A scarlet thread of love keeping them both going

not knowing how it would all end and if they would ever share a life together.

Overshadowed by His Wing

kept

protected

provided for.

Known by the Heavenly Father and one day known to me as Daddy.

Stories of the Battle of the Bulge in late 1944-January 1945

the surprise attack by the Germans

the loss of so many lives and a life saved.

My Dad’s.

Glorious shining moments.

No, I can’t imagine living through all the horrors of war

and as I listen to those stories of long ago and my daughters hear

I almost fear not realizing enough how great was the sacrifice, the cost.

Remembering again the Great Sacrifice of all

when His life was crucified so that we might live.

Blood stained soil from which life would come.

“Greater love has no man than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

May we never forget the cost.

After the war

a marriage and eventually four children

precious lives that might not have been. Chapters and chapters of life for which I’m grateful.

So on this Remembrance Day and always

let’s never forget the price that was paid for our freedom.