“We’re leaving in five minutes.” S.M. calls from the bedroom.
Outside, the sun is shining, but if I touch the window I know I’ll feel the 16 degree chill. I am still in my pajamas. S.M. likes to say stuff like that to try to hurry the favorite part of my day. I clutch the hot tea mug tighter.
“We don’t have to be at my parents until noon.” I said and snuggle deeper into my chair. I am sitting across from the picture window. I love living in the Garden of Eden. Our front yard looks bare and the leaves on the trees we planted are nearly gone. Fall came late, and I know Winter will come later. For now, I’m enjoying the crisp mornings where we don’t yet have to worry about scraping ice.
My mouth waters as I think of the cinnamon buns I made last night. They are wrapped and ready to leave with us when we travel to my parents house in the city. The dough raised for a couple of hours yesterday before I punched the dough and created these yummy things. My family absolutely loves my Thanksgiving cinnamon rolls. I love my cinnamon rolls. That’s what is sitting on a plate next to me right now.
S.M. walks out into the livingroom. He’s wearing jeans and a nice shirt. His black dress shoes compliment the whole look. “Get dressed, lazy bum.”
“I’m having breakfast.” I said.
“Tea and buns? That’s breakfast? What would the doctor say?”
“That I should have the tasteless whole grain cereal in the pantry.” I said.
“It’s Thanksgiving. Go away.” I smile behind my tea cup. The scent of the earl grey gives my brain a natural high.
S.M. rolls his eyes. “I give up.” He says as he walks into the adjacent kitchen and refills his empty coffee cup. He also grabs a cinnamon roll.
In 45 minutes, we will get into the car and drive for a couple of hours to the city. My parents have a large house, and for practical reasons, everyone meets there for Thanksgiving. We usually eat in the evening, but everyone comes at noon for football, board games, and outdoor fun. We’re eating all day long. Grandpa and cousin, Jim, usually nap. S.M. plays outside with the younger children. I hang out in the kitchen and help make dinner and lunch. The dining room table remains set all day with mom’s favorite china and great-grandma’s prized gravy boat sitting dead center.
When I look at the set table and watch my family, I am grateful for them even though they hint at their Mormon beliefs and talk about their church. I remember the first Christmas present I received the year I became a Christian was Mormon propaganda. One of the things that’s always brought up is our childless situation.
Mom looks out the window at S.M. playing with the younger children and says, “He’d make a great dad.”
For which I look away and change the subject so she doesn’t see me rolling my eyes. It’s Thanksgiving, I think, Let’s not argue.
So while I look forward to going down there and I love my family, I can’t help but feel a little bit sad. I want to see them someday in Heaven. I want them to know the Christ of the Bible. But it’s Thanksgiving, and I focus on being grateful.
So S.M. gets the plate of rolls and I grab my purse after I have gotten dressed. We climb into the car and drive out of our neighborhood.
“Are you ready for the chaos?” S.M. asks me as I lean my head against the back of the seat.
“No. But we always have fun.”
“True.” He says. He reaches over and squeezes my hand. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.” I say and mentally prepare for a full day of family.
I hope your Thanksgiving is chaotic, too. I hope today you are not alone. If you have no one to spend Thanksgiving with, please consider going to a soup kitchen and serve others. Find some way to appreciate the blessings you’ve been given this year.