Res Jr. declared today, "the best Thanksgiving ever". Mrs. Ipsa broke down and made the kids jello with marshmallows in it and served it on their plates with dinner. Being able to eat dessert as a side dish with dinner is more than enough to put the day over the top for my son.
Thanksgiving as a parent is a totally different holiday than it was as a kid. Normally I'm not overly sentimental about such things. I enjoy special food. I love turkey and pumpkin pie, since I seldom get them, I make it a point to appreciate my good fortune.
20 years ago today I was laying on my back in a hospital bed. I was a college kid. I had finished my last mid term around 8am on Tuesday and had driven the 2 hours home. I dropped off my stuff and took my fathers car north to pick up my great grandmother for the holiday. It was four and a half hours north and another four and a half back home. My girlfriend had also made it back home, so after dumping grandma's stuff in the door I took off for greener pastures. Around midnight I headed out from her place, but I was too wound up to sleep. So I took a little drive. According to the person behind me, the car gently slid across the country road I was on and flipped in the ditch. He stopped and saw that a large number of steel posts had impaled the car. Assuming I was dead he called the police to report the wreck. They arrived and called for rescue and an ambulance.
I spent Thanksgiving in the hospital, and was released Friday afternoon, in time for me to return to school on Monday.
I started off writing this post wanting to talk about what it means to me to be "home". "Home" being a farmhouse in northern Michigan that my grandparents built. It's a place now lost to me by circumstances I had no say or control over. I miss it and wish I could go there again. "Home" is place with people, now dead and gone, people I miss horribly at holiday time. The rest of the year I can put them out of my mind. Today I can't.
Today my son celebrated the best Thanksgiving ever. My daughter got turkey grease all over everything including her pull up. Everyone else is taking a post pumpkin pie nap. I've cleaned up the turkey carcass and would be washing pots and pans if it wasn't for the very painful burn on my hand. I hate flat top electric stoves. Part of me feels I should be out behind grandma's in my blind that I bet is still there after all these years, waiting with my rifle, a portable heater and a turkey sandwich, for a buck to wander by. If not that, I should be driving swamps with my cousins along the Black. Is nearly dark there now a deer should be coming out of the swamp and heading towards the field, right in front of where I ought to be sitting.
My children will never know that place, but to them, they are home and today was a good day.
Happy Thanksgiving to you my friends. May you thank God for the homes you have and the families you enjoy. May next year be a even greater blessing than this last one.