The sky is a clear, winter blue and the morning sunshine is streaming onto the frosty landscape, beginning to thaw the frozen ground. We were up before the sun this morning - not really my favorite thing to do. But since we're hosting my husband's family for the Thanksgiving meal today, we willingly rose up from bed (after hitting snooze 2 or 3 times) and got to work on the turkey and cinnamon roles.
I've always said that whenever it fell on me to make a Thanksgiving turkey, we'd be having ham. I'm pretty squeamish about that whole corpse-in-a-bag thing. But thankfully :) Josh isn't. He made a special spice rub and applied it under the skin (:::shudder:::) and now we can already smell the savory seasonal scent of roasting turkey. My morning job, other than moral support for the turkey guy, was to roll out the cinnamon roles and get them rising and in the oven. I love making cinnamon roles almost as much as eating them. Kneading the dough is therapeutic, and there is something beautiful to me in the way yeast rises and in the swirl pattern of the roles when they are sliced and placed in the pan.
After a hot cup of french-pressed coffee and some snuggle time while doing a sudoku on the couch, it's time to do some last-minute cleaning, get our showers, and say a prayer together for the day.
I have so much to give thanks for today! My wonderful daughter, with her messy morning hair pulled into a haphazard pony tail who is eating a cinnamon role and reading the comics across the table from me. Our crazy dog who keeps poking his head into my lap for me to pet him, as he smiles with his dimples. And my wonderful husband, who has the ability to make me laugh even at 6:30 in the morning, and who has enriched my life more than I can say. This is our first Thanksgiving as a married couple, and it was two years ago this week that we went on our first date and knew we'd be together forever. Holidays used to have a bittersweetness about them, as they seemed to heighten the loneliness of being a divorced single mom. The burden of making things special was heavier, and my awareness of being the only adult in the room without a spouse to sit beside me at the table was always just there. I'm thankful for the blessing of such a wonderful husband this year - who shares with me the joys and challenges of life, who inspires me with his strength and courage, and who can rub down a raw turkey without gagging even once.
I'm in a bit of a sentimental mood today, and I could wax on about family, friends, hopes, dreams, and gifts for which I am especially grateful. But preparations are calling. To all of you, may your hearts be filled with gratitude for every blessing large and small that is yours today. And may we all remember and pray for those who are unable to share our joy and gratitude.
I'll close with the prayer Maria clipped this morning from Dear Abby to pray with the family today:
Oh, Heavenly Father,
We thank thee for food and remember the hungry.
We thank thee for health and remember the sick.
We thank thee for friends and remember the friendless.
We thank thee for freedom and remember the enslaved.
May these remembrances stir us to service,
That thy gifts to us may be used for others.
and Happy Thanksgiving!