Thanksgiving Is Most Certainly NOT for the Birds

You know who has nothing to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day?

The turkey.

It’s kinda a rough day for that dude.

Unless we’re talking about a martyr turkey.

And somehow, I highly doubt that once a turkey gets wind of what gets cut off and where it all gets stuffed and cooked… Well, I don’t much think we’re going to see many turkey’s yelling “Pick me!” for that experience.

All turkey business aside, I know full well how very much I have to be thankful for. And, although I’ve been practicing thankfulness with more regularity since first reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp a couple of years ago, it does me good to purposely set aside time each year for an extra helping of thankfulness.

So, in the spirit of reflection and thanksgiving, this morning I am so very thankful for:

  • You.  Yes, you. I come here and use words to work through things and you come and share right back. I’m so grateful. Flannery O’Connor said that “I write to discover what I know.”  You help me discover that. Thank you.
  • Sweetman and my sweetkids. They drive me batty. But for every new bat-like symptom I acquire, for every new twitch they inspire, I am grateful that they are mine. And I am theirs. I wouldn’t trade anything (You know what I would trade? A cast. I would trade that, actually.)
  • Italians. Si`. My “fache` booka`” loving sister-in-law, who thinks nothing of stopping an 11:00 pm card game of Rumino to call her sister (or one of 4 brothers) in another state to make sure no one is cheating, and my mother-in-law, who will cook up a storm and bake love into every single delicious bite.
  • Freedom. I’m not talking about the freedom that living in The United States provides, although I have no doubt that I don’t even understand how blessed being an American really is. I’m talking about the freedom to write what I want. Post when I want. Think how I want. It’s a gift, tenfold. I am thankful.

I’m going to end my thoughts right there. An Italian is calling from the kitchen telling me that breakfast is served. “Andiamo!”

“I’m coming!!!”

Happy Thanksgiving!


That Turkey Would Have Kissed Me


As we gear up to celebrate Thanksgiving and show our deep gratitude for all that God gives to us, does with us, and holds back from us, I wanted to share a different kind of story with you. I’m in the mood to reminisce, as I’ve got The Nana and Ahab under my roof for the first time in close to ten years, this Thanksgiving.

The Captain loves to tell this story. And, although he felt no small amount of frustration when it happened thirty years ago, he can look back and laugh about it now. Time is gracious that way.

This old dog used to hunt.  Yes indeedy. She surely did.

To be fair, I should say that I did the best I could with what I had at the time; which was a skill-set that, as it turns out, doesn’t work well with the skill-set required for successful turkey hunting. But, I’m getting ahead of myself…

Once upon a time, The Captain decided to take me Turkey hunting with him and my brother.  As a tween with a bit of a tomboy streak, I was thrilled to score an invite to the annual Turkey Hunt and to hang out with my father in his favorite environment (the great outdoors). I was also going to get the chance to show off my newly acquired skills with the twenty-gauge shotgun.

Now, these skills were hard-won with a couple of bruises to my shoulder (kick-back hurts!) and plenty of ribbing from my brother on my inability to come within a good foot of the actual targets during practices.  Persistence paid off, though, as I finally proved my ability. This also earned me the coveted invitation.

Under normal circumstances, I’m sure the men in my family would have had no problem tuning me out.  The thing is, we were in the middle of the Everglades on a hunting camp attempting to lure turkeys with no other noise than the sounds of our turkey calls.

If you know me at all, you can already see where this is headed…

We were in full camouflage and completely concealed by the Palmetto and myrtle bushes that we had cut to blend in with our surroundings.

And we were quiet.

The mission we were on required silence.

Silence is hard for me now, as an adult.  You can imagine how hard it was for me as a tween!

And so, as the turkey calls ended and the wait began, it quickly turned into a much-too-long and much-too-quiet wait for me.

I got chatty.

And when a hoped for turkey finally did approach, I couldn’t contain my excitement – so I whisper-shouted it’s arrival.

I do believe that turkey looked at me that day and saw an angel. We could almost hear him say, “Praise the Lord! He sent me a human! That talks!” And Ahab swears that if that turkey had been able to, he’d have blown me a kiss as he hightailed it out of there.

You see, that turkey knew that he had received a stay of execution, because of me.

I can make all sorts of parallels to my life in Christ, here.  I could tell you how God adores time with me, how He loves to see me put the gifts He’s given me to good use, or about the time that He commuted my own life sentence with one final cry of “It is finished!”. 

But, what I want you to know, is that I am thankful for the time He’s given me with my family here on earth, too.  I am grateful, this Thanksgiving Day, for the days He’s numbered for me and for the opportunities He’s given me to love on them and be loved on by them.

And, as for turkey hunting? You’ve probably already guessed that my mouth and I were never invited on another turkey hunt again. 

The Captain also likes to add that since The President releases a Turkey each Thanksgiving, he did too.

Just… not intentionally.

Happy Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!  I’m praying that you are surrounded by friends and/or family that you hold dear.  (And by lots and lots of pie!).

Thankful Heart and Waistband


Give Thanks

As you head into this day of Thanksgiving, I hope it is filled with family that are friendly and friends that are like family.  I hope you have enough stretch in your outfit to accommodate some extra helpings.  I hope you are able to share your bounty with someone who has none. And I hope are able to find much to be thankful for on this day.

I am thankful for the Yoga pants that are going to get a major workout today.  I am more thankful for The Gammy who is selflessly giving of herself to cook for her family.  I am thankful for the welcoming home of my mother and father-in-law that is awaiting us.  I am thankful that we will be able to hug the necks of our brother and sister-in-law and niece and nephew.  (We only wish it could be all of them!)

But most of all, I am thankful to be able to think of So Very Many Things for which to be thankful.  That is a blessing, indeed!

*And just for Captain Ahab – I almost scored a wild turkey for you.  No, no, no, not with a 12 gage.  With my car.  I was this close! *

Gobble Gobble!

Family Sandwich

Sometimes, we call Sweetboy “The Big Cheese”.  For all of the reasons you can possibly conjure in your mind. And then some.  Now that you know that pertinent piece of information, what I’m about to relay will make more sense.  Maybe…

Sweetman, Sweetgirl and I were down in the playroom snuggling on the couch while Sweetboy was up stairs hopping away, when Sweetgirl asked for a “Sweetgirl Sandwich”.  This is not an edible sandwich, however; it’s a kind of hug.  Daddy and I stick a kidlet or the kidlets in between the two of us and we do a squeeze hug, which we call a Family Sandwich.  (This all started as part of Sweetboy’s Sensory therapy when he was little.  We would help him alleviate his need for sensory input by providing great big bear hugs.)

I suppose Sweetgirl decided it was high time we had just a “her” sandwich.  In any case, we did a Sweetgirl Sandwich and she giggled delightedly and asked for a second helping.  We obliged.  Sweetboy heard all of the ruckus and made his way down to see what was going on. When he discovered that we were doing a Family Sandwich, he, of course, wanted in.  So we smushed the two of them in between us and hugged the stuffing out of them both.

At this time, Sweetman informed the kidlets that we were the pieces of bread and Sweetboy was the Big Cheese.  Sweetgirl instantly asked, “And what am I, Daddy?”  We looked at each other above their heads and that man? He read my mind!  Because, his response was, “You’re the Turkey, of course!”  We all collapsed into fits of giggles and laughter.

And it was the most satisfying Sandwich I’ve had in a good long while.  Indeed.