I am getting ready for Thanksgiving. This year all the kids will be here along with their families, as well as Chuck’s sister and her family, my sister and her family, and one of my sister Pam’s kids and her family.
I expect a busy Thanksgiving at the Littlejohn’s with ten children ages nine and under–six of which are our own grandchildren. Oops! I just realized that there isn’t enough room at the children’s table.
Just last night, Chuck said that he thought he should become scarce for the next few days leading up to Thursday. He knows that my type-A personality always comes out in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. He knows that the “Johnelle” in me is always right under the surface. Johnelle is my mother, and she had a fearsome temper.
I decided this year to not work on any projects during the week, but instead spend the three days before Thanksgiving just getting ready. That means no writing the book and no genealogy.
My Schedule Includes
So my list for this week includes: Monday-straightening up the house and yard (so far so good), Tuesday-decorating, and Wednesday-cooking and scheduling. There is also a plan for Thursday.
It might be nice to begin my day on Thursday with some quiet “me” time early in the morning. I haven’t decided yet if I would like to take an early morning walk or just sit with a cup of coffee and a devotional. I might do about ten minutes of yoga just to stretch out and start my day.
On Wednesday while I’m preparing and cooking. I plan to finalize a list of what needs to be done and by what time. It is a schedule that will keep me on time all day Thursday. We plan to eat around 2 PM.
So far, it shows that I need to have the turkey in the oven by 9 AM and the ham baking an hour later. Biscuits go in the oven around 1:30 pm. It just occurred to me that I don’t ever remember my mom or grandmother cooking by a schedule or even following a recipe.
Mostly though, on Thanksgiving day I want to take some time to be thankful for all of God’s bountiful blessings. I try to always remember something my Grandmother Roe once said–that no matter what happens to me, out there is someone who is having a harder time.
One of my favorite blessings was my sorority’s. It is below.
There are some other things that I want to do on Thursday. It will help to be very mindful of what I eat. I plan to eat real slow and drink lots of unsweet tea, filling my plate with lots of vegetables and very little starches. A tiny sliver of cake or pie will do, along with a cup of coffee. I also plan to chew gum while cooking. It keeps me from nibbling.
Also, I want to try and spend time talking to everyone. I have a tendency to get in the kitchen and work work work without really conversing with people. I want to try very hard this year to sit down and have a chat with everyone who’s there.
Since we have about thirty guests, this may be hard to do; but I want to try anyway. There’s a reason for this.
A year ago this week, Chuck and I came back from the islands, where we visited with friends. We flew back into West Palm Beach and decided to stop on our way north and have Thanksgiving dinner with my 94-year old uncle in Jacksonville. I worried that he might not be with us much longer. Usually we spent every other Thanksgiving with Pam, but I thought I should spend this one with Uncle James instead.
I never dreamed it would be Pam’s last Thanksgiving. The good Lord knows that life is nothing but a rough draft. We don’t get to make any changes. There is no rewrite.
My other sister Linda was there with Pam at Thanksgiving last year, and here is a video that she took of Pam preparing their Thanksgiving turkey and our brother-in-law Marty ‘cutting the fool’ with her in the kitchen. Oh how I treasure this now.
So this year I feel the need to stop and visit with every last one of my family members. Life is so uncertain.
Our Thanksgiving will be Florida-style. We’ll have a shuck and burn–that’s oysters and a bonfire; but it might be too warm for a fire. Food will be served outdoors on the picnic tables in the courtyard. It is supposed to be in the high 70’s on Thursday here.
So we’ll be down here in Florida gathering and thanking and blessing and overeating and shucking and burning.
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!
How do you plan to spend this Thanksgiving? Do you have any special plans or a schedule? Do you have any traditions you wish to share? Please leave a comment below.