Neglecting the practice of giving thanks has darkened their minds.
~ Sarah Young, Jesus Calling
This I know is true; focusing on the negative is blinding. Following the February death of our parents, I found myself in a blue funk, a gloomy place with little interest in what normally brought pleasure. Yet today, as soft fluffy clouds float across a baby blue sky, nearly naked trees stretch their arms heavenward, and the smell of Mom’s stuffing tickles the nose, I find myself excited with anticipation for the day’s traditions and the making of memories with family and friends.
Be thankful for dirty dishes, they have a story to tell. ~ a message on a marquee
My least favorite household chore is washing dishes. As a child, it always was and remains so today. Why, you ask. I cannot tell you. The reason escapes me. To this day, I would rather clean the bathroom than wash dirty dishes.
At each holiday dinner, the most important question to my mother (at least in my mind) is, are we using the dishwasher today? However, after reading that message, dirty dishes and their need for washing are beginning to change my perspective. Their stories of well-fed bellies instead of hunger give reminders this basic need met is what some take for granted while others crave.
Tradition.Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as… as a fiddler on the roof.
Tevye, 1964 musical by Jerry Bock
This is one of my favorite weeks of the year, a time of family and traditions of Thanksgiving week. Pie baking night at Mom and Dad’s with the smells of pumpkin, apples, and spices. Turkey day at the farm; won’t go into what that is all about except to say it is not a good day for old Tom. Cramming as many people into the kitchen to watch Dad and one of my brothers work at carving the deliciously golden bird. Oh, the crispy skin; who can grab the biggest piece before Mom flashes The Look; yes even in her eighties she can put anyone at any age in line with The Look. Teasing Mom about the year she forgot to make potatoes; Oh, such sacrilege! Verbally reliving memories of years past, passing them on to the many young ones who spread infectious joy with squeals of laughter.
All are wonderful traditions to pass from one generation to another, traditions to help maintain a family’s strength for survival, a defense against destruction. Yet, I keep thinking there is a custom that is stronger and more powerful, even more valuable than those mentioned earlier; the sharing of one’s faith in the great Creator who makes it possible for us to enjoy and be thankful for much in this life, and even better things to come if we know Him as our Living Savior. (Romans 10:14, Deuteronomy 11:18-20)
Faith. Without faith in Jesus, our lives are as shaky as… as a fiddler on the roof.
Did you know the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line employs more than 50 professionally trained, college-educated home economists and nutritionists, who respond to more than 100,000 questions each November and December? Hmmm… what type of queries do these turkey talkers receive? A wild hunt with Google’s help produced these head-scratching results…
Does the turkey go in the oven feet first or head first?
Can I baste my turkey with suntan lotion?
How long does it take to thaw a fresh turkey?
The family dog is inside the turkey. How do I get it out?
I’m a truck driver. Can I cook the turkey on the engine block of my semi while I’m driving? If I drive faster, will it cook faster?
I don’t want to cook the whole turkey, so I cut it in half with a chainsaw. How do I get the chainsaw oil out of the turkey?
Is it okay to thaw my turkey in the bathtub while bathing my kids?
Can I brine my turkey in the washing machine?
Can I use my oven’s self-cleaning cycle to speed up the cooking process?
Can I take my frozen turkey into my sauna to thaw it faster?