Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving Week

Thanksgiving week stretches before us so soon. I read recently that though Thanksgiving is official by decree, it really is a matter of the heart that should not/can not be limited to a Thursday in November. 

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow. ~Edward Sandford Martin

What is it about the season (as much as I may wish that we'd be more sensible like our Canadian cousins) that evokes these powerful memories of family, hearth, and home? 



Families are more likely to travel to be together at Thanksgiving, moreso than even Christmas. Perhaps it is the memory of traveling...watching the farmhouses and all those autumnal scenes slip past mile after mile. The anticipation of being with cousins, aunts and uncles, siblings, parents, and grandparents was enough to make a child giddy for days. 

It certainly is also the memory of preparing and planning and getting the house ready for welcoming guests. And what about the smell of turkey baking for hours, fresh Parker House rolls, and all those other savory delights reserved for such holiday meals? Oh and there must definitely be red stuff on the table.



(I once made the mistake of serving John a chicken dinner without his favorite dish. He surveyed the table finally asking gently [and somewhat sadly], "What? No red stuff?" That was his term for cranberry jelly right out of the can.) 

This year, things are different. I will be joining my son and family at his home for Thanksgiving, though Wednesday, I will be doing some baking here in my little haven where it will be warm and cozy. Sometimes, I am tempted to feel bereft, but having found so many of John's messages written down in journals and Bibles, I am also rejoicing.


This week will be one of praise and thanksgiving to God for safely bringing us along. There is always so very much for which to be grateful.


Many blessings to you and those with whom you will gather this week. 

55 comments:

  1. I hope your Thanksgiving with family is a glorious one...
    OOO....and I, too, like the cranberry sauce in the can best of all. xoxo

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  2. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Vee! We also love the red stuff--lol--even if I make a homemade cranberry chutney, the canned jelly also has to be served for those that like that best!

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  3. Hope you have a wonderful celebration with your family, creating some lovely memories to look back on.

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  4. What a precious and wonderful thing to find notes like the one above to remind you that John is rejoicing in heaven. A comfort indeed. Still, this Thanksgiving will be bittersweet I am sure and I will remember to lift you up in prayer as you go through it. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Vee. Earl and I and our youngest daughter and her husband travel to Pennsylvania Tuesday to spend Thanksgiving with my eldest daughter. The first time we have not hosted in almost 30 years! Things change but we have so much to be thankful for. That never changes.

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  5. Thank you for the smile, Vee....I can only imagine the comfort that brings to you....(John's little messages/notes)

    I forgot to email you back about the Jaywalking thing...I have tomorrow off, so look for it then, LOLOL. (I am hoping to have today off as well, so much snow, 40 mph and darn right nasty out.)

    Wishing many Thanksgiving Blessings....lots of love to you.

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    1. So much snow? Oh dear. I woke to a dusting...looks pretty...but I want it GONE before I must go to the city.

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  6. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful, Vee, we had our usual Thanksgiving dinner celebration at my Mother's yesterday! I enjoyed the ride going over to her home just as you described it! I can only imagine the joy you find in those notes, though I think this is not a happen-stance, I believe John and our heavenly Father knew exactly what they were doing when John wrote them! They were looking after you!! I especially love the words of this note, I am so thankful for that Blessed "hope" we have! Thank you for sharing this! Please know you remain in my thoughts and prayers

    Wishing you and your dear family many Thanksgiving Blessings
    Love,
    Sue

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  7. Oh Vee...I loved this very, very much! I am mindful that this must be a difficult time for you. I find it such a treasure that you find messages from John...as if he is with you. What a gift! Wishing you and those you love a very blessed Thanksgiving day! Big, big hugs!

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  8. I love this post. Such a warm, cozy feeling your words evoke in my heart. And you are right -- Thanksgiving should be every day. I know those notes you are finding are to be found at just the right time for you. How precious to know John is with his Savior and rejoicing and that you will see him again. Such a blessed hope. Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving Day with your family.

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  9. How precious to have handwritten notes that John wrote. He was such a wise and wonderful man. I'm glad you have family close by to be with this week. I'll be baking some Wednesday too! Do you like to listen to music while you cook? I do. Lots of sweet hugs, Diane PS I read more of your posts and appreciated your views...you're pretty wise too! Hugs!

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  10. Lovely post Vee. You, along with all the friends I'm thankful for, will be in my thoughts. Not growing up celebrating this particular American holiday has always made it a rather secondary celebration for me, and I much prefer the idea of being thankful/grateful daily. Being so close to Christmas, and somewhat hard work cooking such a huge meal, I still used to do all necessary to make it special for the family. Now I must admit I can't handle all that so this year will 'help out' with a few dishes only.

    Blessings to you and your family, hope the weather is good for your travel.
    Hugs - Mary

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  11. We DO have so much to be thankful for even in grief and loss. I love the note you shared from John. How precious!! It's funny about Thanksgiving when I was growing up as I don't really remember celebrating it. I remember Christmas celebrations at our Grammie's - with our one and only older cousin making a total of 5 kids - and the expectation of all that but I don't remember Thanksgiving. Now I'm curious and will have to ask my sister, Maggie, if she remembers. I wish you a blessed time with your son and his family and I hope there is canned cranberry jelly! Do you prefer the whole berries or the jelly alone? I'm a whole berry gal. :) Love and blessings to you Vee.

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    1. Thanksgiving in Canada did not register until recent decades. There was the holiday, but not one of our Canadian relatives celebrated it. I am glad that things have changed and that now our Canadian cousins do honor the day. Good question for my Canadian friends: When did your family begin celebrating Thanksgiving (in October, of course)?

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  12. What a warm and loving post, Vee. I too read that quote of Martin's recently and love it! How sweet the remembrances you get from your beloved. "No red stuff"--so cute!
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving at your son's home. Enjoy the grandsons and all the special blessings of the day! ♥
    PS Such a cute idea with the pumpkin on the stemware.

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    1. Stolen idea from BJ at Sweet Nothings. ☺️

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  13. My mother's parents lived very close to me and we always celebrated Thanksgiving at Nana and Papa's. It was a lovely celebration and I have the dearest memories of it...And funny ones of the trays of slices of bread drying for several days before at Nana's. I have so many things for which to be grateful! And I try to remember them and thank God for them every day. I have been so blessed, even with the losses. I will make a cranberry/orange relish along with the green bean casserole, vegetarian stuffing I will bring to my daughter Emily's home on Thursday. Andy will make the mashed potatoes with help from my grandson, Nathan, and he'll also make a Cranberry Hazelnut Field Roast which is vegetarian. There will be twelve of us celebrating and we NEVER fight. That seems like a strange thing for a family to do at such a time, if ever.....The note from John is so precious. Blessings to you and your family.

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    1. Goodness! I am glad that you never fight. I do not recall any "fights" at the Thanksgiving table in all the years I have been celebrating either.

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  14. When I was growing up, Thanksgiving was always at our house. I have 4 sisters. The only nearby extended family was my Mother's parents and they came. I love the smell of Thanksgiving foods! I am so glad you will be with your family this Thanksgiving.

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  15. That note from John made me cry. What a glorious day indeed! Your little cozy home will smell so good on Wednesday. I like the upside down goblet display in the window. So much to be grateful for. A very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours and I hope there's red stuff on the table. :)

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  16. Oh Vee! What treasure to have such notes written in his own handwriting! You are such good example of keeping your eyes on Jesus in the hard things.

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  17. I love Thanksgiving. It's such a non-stress celebration for us - a day to gather with family and friends who are family - and eat a wonderful meal together. Our family celebrated Thanksgiving since I was a child; I can't remember NOT celebrating. Did you know that the first European Thanksgiving to be celebrated in Canada was in 1578 when Martin Frobisher and his crew set aside a day for thanking God for his mercies?

    I was also curious about Pam's comment about not remembering Thanksgiving as a child and I discovered that Thanksgiving Day is not, even now, a statutory holiday in New Brunswick.

    How sweet to find those notes and reminders from John. What a dear man he was, living his life of faith, not knowing, I suspect, how much comfort you would derive from finding those bits and pieces.
    Thankfulness is mentioned so often in the Bible, and we are reminded over and over again to be thankful. Thank you for this lovely, lovely post, and have a Blessed Thanksgiving feast with your family (and don't forget the red stuff!)

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  18. The note left by John is heart warming Vee, the same thoughts echo in my mind.
    Growing up we always celebrated Thanksgiving in a big way with turkey and decorations which I continue to do. It's the time of year when the harvest has been done and be thankful.
    Enjoy the time with your son and family for your Thanksgiving dinner.

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  19. Love that John is still speaking to you through his notes. I'm sure there's some sadness as you enter your first holidays without him. Have a good time with your family!

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  20. I love your sweet and poignant post, Vee. I think you hit on something when you wrote of memories of traveling to family's house on Thanksgiving. When we first married, we always had to drive an hour or more to the family Thanksgiving gathering. I distinctly remember enjoying the autumn scenery as we drove through the countryside.

    I find it comforting that you are still finding John's notes around the house, and I know you miss him. I will picture you baking good things in the coziness of your home, and I hope you have a wonderful day with your son and family.

    Hugs to you,

    Denise at Forest Manor

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  21. My prayer is that you have a blessed Thanksgiving although it is sure to be a little sad for you. John left those notes so that you would still have him with you. I remember days of traveling to visit grandparents and others for the holidays. Now we all live close by and do not travel.

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  22. You have such a wonderful attitude, Vee! I'm glad you have family to visit for Thanksgiving. May you be surrounded with love.

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  23. You are right Vee, we all have much to be thankful for, all year long, not just at this time. I am happy we have our Thanksgiving earlier than yours, the early October weather is usually nicer (and warmer) than late November. I hope you have a wonderful week and lots of fun and happy memories shared with your son and family.


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  24. Ironically I'm eating some of that red stuff in a can right now as I read this. Leftovers from our church thanksgiving dinner this past Sunday. Oh what a treasure you have in that little slip of paper that John wrote. Even more so to know he's experiencing that Glorious Day right now and will continue to experience it. Blind hymnwriter Fannie Crosby said: "When I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior!"

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  25. That's our hand shaking song at church. 😊 I love it.
    My favorite Thanksgivings are the ones we spent in Scotland. We lived on base and the kids were little. We would invite a few of the single men from the base to share Thanksgiving with us. We had some great times.

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    1. Guess that qualifies as comforting one another with these words...Cool!

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  26. This is a wonderful post... filled with warmth and love. I often think about how, though we exist in "time," that God exists outside of time -- or at least He is not constrained by time. I think of love in sort of the same way. Though it exists in time, it is not constrained by time... such is your love for John and his for you. How precious are the ways you can remind yourself of that, like the little notes and writings in his own hand that you find as you go along. It makes me think I (we) should write more than I do in our own hand.

    I spent every Thanksgiving of my growing up years at my mother's mother's home. The warmth and love in that house were always palpable. It was my "safe" place -- where my granddaddy who loved me so lived until his passing when I was 14. My grandmother always prepared everything "just so" while making it all seem effortless. I have some of her things... baking utensils, a beautiful handmade apron, and recipe books with her handwritten notes. These are precious to me as they tie the past to the present and hopefully with my children, the future. But the love -- it is always there, just as it was, transcending time and space. We have MUCH to be thankful for.

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  27. This is a beautiful post. I love it that John made notes of his love for our Savior. What a special joy to come across them. Although it's not been an easy year for you, yet you praise God for his many blessings. This is witness to a heart tuned by God. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

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  28. Oh, that note of John's is a real treasure and I know it must be so comforting to you to find them tucked away here and there. There is something so personal about one's handwriting.
    This post was a beauty to read this morning. You have conjured up fond memories of Thanksgiving through the years. I can't imagine not having the smell of roasting turkey in the air on this day and, oh yes, the red stuff must figure prominently into the menu. I do believe I will think of your chicken dinner story whenever I am eating it. :).
    May you enjoy the moments in your cozy kitchen and may you feel John's presence as you prepare for Thanksgiving. I wish you a wonderful day with your family, Vee.

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  29. Oh Vee - such a sweet post. The note that John wrote touched me deeply - how wonderful to find these treasures. Have a lovely Thanksgiving with your dear family and happy baking in your cozy haven this week.

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  30. John's notes, these windows to his heart, are one of the best gifts that he could have given you. I am so moved by this. Indeed, you have suffered a great loss, and yet all is not lost.

    May your memories be sweet, may your heart be glad, as you celebrate with your family this week.

    Much love to you...

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  31. Most years when I was growing up, we went to my maternal grandmother's farm (right next door!) for Thanksgiving! What a sumptuous meal! I looked forward to it, and the congenial company of aunts, uncles, and cousins, for days. Everything tasted better on Gram's ivy plates. I've written a post about this years back -- it was probably one of the first posts I did -- and I'm thinking I will do a repost this week. Wanted to get it in print while I still remembered!

    Some years, for whatever reason, we had Thanksgiving at home. I was often given jobs like washing grapes and arranging them in a serving dish, placing walnuts in a bowl with a nutcracker, or even grinding cranberries and oranges for relish.

    Amen to all that others have said concerning John and his note. That is one thing about leaving unexpectedly ... inevitably, things are left behind. And in this case, what a wonderful blessing that these notes and lists and journals are there for you to discover. Little blessings straight from his heart to yours.

    Have a truly blessed Thanksgiving with your precious family. This post is lovely.

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  32. Dear Vee:
    I know that you will miss John this Thanksgiving with thoughts of him coming and going in your mind. Those notes are very precious and we must treasure the fact that we will gather at a greater banquet one day - the marriage supper of the lamb. I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

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  33. This is such a warm and heartfelt post. I love everything about Thanksgiving (except for Black Friday, which has absolutely NOTHING to do with being thankful) and yes, it needs to be an every day event (not black Friday and not all that food...we'd all be poor as paupers and as big as barns!) It really is possible though, to enjoy the holidays and family get-togethers after losing a loved one if we keep the big picture in the mind...and that precious note you shared from your John made a tear come to my eye. Have a fabulous time at your son's place and many Thanksgiving blessings on your family. Oh, and it's not quite Thanksgiving to me without that "red stuff" either...right out of the can :) ♥♥♥

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  34. My mother always bought a can of the jellied cranberry sauce and sliced it. I'm not sure why because hardly anyone ate it. :) My red stuff is a strawberry, jello and applesauce concoction.
    Wishing you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving!
    Love, Cheryl






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  35. How wonderful that you keep finding such special thoughts and notes from John! Such a blessing and comfort to your soul! I grew up in Canada, and we always celebrated Thanksgiving in October, such wonderful memories I have of those times. Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday, as it is about being thankful and spending time with family. Christmas has turned into a materialistic nightmare, so sad that has happened. So looking forward to a blessed Thanksgiving, and wishing you and yours a very special day of Thanksgiving!

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  36. A beautiful post, both words and photos. Happy Thanksgiving!
    Amalia
    xo

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  37. Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving! What a sweet blessing and comfort to find John's notes!

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  38. Hi vee~

    What a beautiful post, I love your blog.

    I agree with so many...Thanksgiving is my favorite as well. I just love the feel of it. Christmas is too rushed, to commercialized and stressful. No matter how I try to make it less stressful, it always seems to be. I love the reason for, Christmas, but the feel is not the same for me as it used to be.

    I love that you find sweet notes from, john, how precious for you...You are very blessed to have them.

    Have a wonderful, Thanksgiving!!

    Hugs,
    Barb

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  39. Happy Thanksgiving, sweet Vee. I am glad that you have sweet notes and memories of John to soothe your heart at this time of year. You are so blessed. Safe travels!

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  40. Wishing you a loving Thanksgiving with your family, XOXO

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  41. Wishing you and yours a most wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving! So nice to have John's words there to add joy during this 'bittersweet' Thanksgiving.

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  42. Blessed Thanksgiving to you. What a delight to come across John's notes as you go about your days and ways.

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  43. You and John had such a special and inspirational love; I often think of your grief over his sudden loss. I know you are thankful to be with family but I know it is different without John. The other day on the car radio, I heard a song sung/written by Mark Lowry that I had never heard, even though it is not new. The words were very comforting to me as the holidays bring to mind my loved ones who are now in Heaven. If you should want, listen to the words to "I Know How To Say Thank You." Love and prayers from Georgia.

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  44. It is so different than Christmas because it is about a meal and togetherness rather than gifts, gifts and more gifts! I'm glad to hear that this year will be different. Hope it was wonderful!

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  45. Love, love that bit of song you shared in John's handwriting.

    Sending along hugs...
    Brenda

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  46. Hoping your Thanksgiving was as good as it could be during this difficult time. What a sweet, sweet, heart felt post!

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  47. The note you shared happens to be one of my all time favorite Gospel songs!! I like to hear it sung, sing it, and I have a concert arrangement for piano that I did a few years ago, so yes.....I like to play it too :^)
    This was a very uplifting post!!
    Blessings to you,
    J

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  48. I hope that you enjoyed a relaxing thanksgiving this year. xx

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  49. I love that note John wrote. He truly loved our Saviour. Thank you for sharing the note with us. The picture of the farm house reminds me of a farm my parents bought. We would sometimes go there on weekends. Do you mind if I save that picture?

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