As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Thanksgiving 2022 . . . and Beyond

Autumn was so beautiful this year, full of color and sunshine and pleasant temperatures. Oh, there were many challenges along the way, but also many blessings and we looked forward to gathering with our dear ones to celebrate those and to offer thanks to the
Giver of all good things! 

We all chatted and made our lists of foods to prepare (although little varies from year to year). House projects were wrapped up. We cleaned and made beds and cooked and made pies. We selected dishes, planned our tables, made place cards, and ironed napkins. 

Ryan and family arrived a little before noon on Thanksgiving Day, with plans to stay until Tuesday! Hooray!

Kristin and her family arrived a little after that and the festivities began! 

Before the meal, as always, we sang a Thanksgiving hymn together. This year's was "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come." Then Ron prayed a prayer of thanksgiving and our feast began. 

Our "servants" this year were Kristin, Bekah, and Eve. (Maddie is usually a "servant" but she was on crutches due to an ankle injury.) Brian also jumped in to help when we needed to speed things up a bit. Our servants bring each dish in from the kitchen and pass it around the table, helping the youngers when needed. I love this tradition. It beats a long buffet line, and it is better than making space for all of those dishes on the table. God bless the servants!

Another tradition, this one begun just a few years ago: the Thanksgiving selfie! 

But it's hard to see everyone (twenty at our table this year) in one photo, so we took a couple of non-selfies from each end of the table. 

Coffee and dessert were served in the new sunroom this year!

Those little toes. 😊

Little girls eating dessert. 😊

Our grandson Paul was celebrating a Thanksgiving Day birthday this year! Longtime readers may remember that this was the baby who was due to be born as his family was moving from Maine to Maryland and we were all on pins and needles about the possibility that he could be born as they traveled! He was not born on the trip (whew!), but made his arrival just a few days later. And now he's eight! 

After Paul opened his birthday presents, we all settled in to watch an old home movie that Ron and his brothers and a sister created thirty-some years ago! Some of the cousins (now in their 40's and 50's) were in it too. It was a comedy, originally created as a gag gift for a Christmas party, but it had been added to several times. It was time for the younger generation to watch it! 

But then . . . 

one of the grands started feeling sick and part of our group left. 

Later in the evening, Mom called and she was sick and getting sicker. She declined my offer to take her to an urgent care facility or the ER on Thanksgiving night. 

On Friday, my sister and I convinced Mom to let me take her to a walk-in clinic. Can you guess what happened? We spent
  h  o  u  r  s   there . . . along with a gazillion other people who were sick. (Don't get sick on a holiday weekend!) 

Mom was given medication and sent back home to recover. I arrived back at home in time to celebrate Peter's twelfth birthday with some gifts and cupcakes (and leftover pie because that's what happens when your birthday is near Thanksgiving). 

We sang to both birthday boys,
because we forgot to sing to Paul on his Thanksgiving Day birthday.

On Saturday, one of Ryan's children woke with a high fever . . . and then people started dropping like flies! Within twelve hours, seven people (out of eleven) in the house were sick. 😱 

And thus began day after day of 
  • get up
  • eat breakfast
  • lie around
  • eat lunch
  • lie around
  • eat dinner
  • lie around and watch a Christmas movie
  • go to bed
The only variations were taking temperatures and taking meds.

On Monday night, an eighth person joined the sickies. 

In the meantime, Kristin's family was having a similar round of illness at their place. 

Our visitors (at least the drivers) felt well enough to travel back home on Thursday, although the fevers returned and they crashed for a few more days after they got home. This virus was a doozy! 

I am thankful that I can rest in God's good plans for my life, yes, even when I don't understand the plan.

As we drove home from the walk-in clinic on the day after Thanksgiving, Mom was apologizing to me for taking up my time when I had family visiting and there were plans to celebrate a birthday boy. (That's a "mom" thing, isn't it?) But I assured her that, although it was certainly nothing that either of us would choose, it was apparently part of our assignment for the day.

We talked about how quickly life passes . . .

and how a single day is such a small fraction of a life . . .

and how our one very short life is such a small fraction of the thousands of years that people have lived on earth . . .

and how all of time is just a "blip" compared to eternity!

For our light affliction, WHICH IS BUT FOR A MOMENT,
is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
II Corinthians 4:17

 His plans are preparing us for eternity! 

Sooo . . .

HAPPY THANKSGIVING  in my typical "a day late and a dollar short" way!

And . . . 

MERRY CHRISTMAS as you celebrate this month. I hope to check in with you before it's all over, but no promises! 

Now I'm off to finish decking the halls! 


  1. I'm so sorry that so many were sick, but thankful it was a stomach bug! Yikes.
    Your family gatherings are always so special.

    1. Oh my goodness . . . I am SO thankful that it was not a stomach bug! The consensus here was the same. Five days of the flu still trumps one day with a stomach virus. (Especially times eight people!!)

      We were blessed to get that gathering in before the flu hit full force.

  2. Hope everyone is well now. Your home is beautiful and the table full of family will be a treasured memory. We have remarked that this has been the most beautiful fall we can remember and also the sickest fall we can remember! Flu and pneumonia kept our family apart for Thanksgiving, but hopefully Christmas will be spent together.

    1. Oh, I'm so sorry that your family could not get together for Thanksgiving, Jan! I, too hope that you're able to gather for Christmas. I also agree with your observations about fall this year!

  3. Great photos! Sorry to hear about the sickness. We had a round of something similar and missed Thanksgiving because of it.

    1. Thank you, Sandi! I am so sorry that your family was also struck with sickness and missed Thanksgiving!

  4. I'm so sorry we both had similar Thanksgivings. As you say it is just a blip on the radar of our lives. Your Thanksgivings are always lovely to see, Cheryl! Happy belated birthday to your grandsons. So glad you could all be together. From the looks of your photos it was still full of many blessings!

    1. Thanks so much, Martha Ellen! I am sorry that your own holiday plans had to change! It was truly a blessing that we were able to have a (mostly) healthy Thanksgiving gathering before everyone went down!

  5. Very sorry about the illnesses. So sorry, but I loved seeing into your world via pictures celebrating Thanksgiving and birthdays. Blessings.

    1. Thanks so much for your visit, Deanna, and for your kind words! Everyone is so much better now, but it was a tenacious virus. Blessings back to you!

  6. Up in smoke! But I will be back when I get my wits together. Such a minor annoyance in the great scheme of things.

    1. Your comment went up in smoke? I'm so sorry! I wish I knew a remedy for such things. NO worries on this end though. I am honored that you visit me here. I do not expect you to jump through hoops to leave a comment!


    2. Back! I only jump through hoops for my favorites. (This will be a copy and paste.)I am so sorry that so many were ill over Thanksgiving. That was not nice. Prior to that, it was such a lovely holiday with so many loved ones gathered around your table. Hope that everyone is feeling much better now.

      A happy year to both your grandsons celebrating such close birthdays!

      A blessed December to you and yours...looking forward to how things shape up at your home. 🎄

    3. Then bless your heart for jumping through those hoops! ❤

      Everyone is feeling much better now . . . but it took a while! This one was a doozy for sure! Even so, we were blessed to have a lovely Thanksgiving Day.

      Now I'm off to shop for (can you believe it?) another birthday boy! This one turns 20 tomorrow . . . and I can't believe that!

  7. Oh my! What a Thanksgiving. I'm glad you were able to celebrate before everyone started getting sick. There's a lot of flu and colds around here, too. Hope everyone is on the mend.

    1. Lorrie, I am very grateful that we were able to celebrate before the illnesses hit hard! Indeed, it seems that there is illness in every corner. I wonder if that means the rest of the season will be milder? Everyone is on the mend now, but it hung on for a long time!

  8. As always, your holidays are so lovely and comforting. Full of love,laughter, family and good food. So sorry to read so many of you got sick and pray that everyone is well now. Have a joyous Christmas season and a fantastic 2023.

    1. So nice to have you visit today, Lorraine! Thank you for your kind words! All are now well, thankfully.

      The blessings of Emmanuel (God with us!) to you!

  9. Oh boy...all those down for the count. Glad everyone is doing better by the time I finally made it here!! One thing for sure is, what a blessing to have 20 at your table. And to think if they were all there it would be more than 20!! Love that 'servant' tradition. He is preparing us for eternity...absolutely! Thanks for that verse!

    1. Whew . . . I am glad that they are better too! It was a tenacious virus!

      We are indeed blessed by the twenty around our Thanksgiving table! I am already thinking about next year when we anticipate that Kati and Andrew and their babies will also be here for Thanksgiving.

      It is good to put things in perspective. So often, I am short sighted and the affliction doesn't seem "light" or "momentary." I need God's Word to remind me of what is true!

  10. Oh my! What a Thanksgiving (or week following) you all had. Our celebration got cancelled because I was super exposed to the plague on the Tuesday & Wednesday before. Hearing the story of my exposure, everyone agreed they didn't care to be exposed to it. As sad as I was to cancel Thanksgiving, when it finally hit me hard on Friday night, and lasted over a week, everyone was glad they were spared. You never know with these things, though. Of course, any of us could get it tomorrow from some other place. I'm thinking you're all surely completely better by now, and you have a shared family story out of it.

    What amazing selfies! And your tradition of having "servants" for a big meal is a lovely one. :)

    1. Oh, I am so sorry that you had to cancel your Thanksgiving celebration . . . and that you were sick for so long! Sadness!

      Our particular virus remains a mystery. One grandchild tested negative for Covid for flu. A grandchild from the other family tested negative for Covid, but was not tested for the flu. Whatever it was, it hung on for dear life!

      Who knew a few years ago that a Thanksgiving selfie would be a thing?!


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