Saturday, October 30, 2010

Our Early Thanksgiving

I'm finally taking a moment to recall a special early Thanksgiving we had on the first of these wonderful FIVE weekends in October: Oct 2-3 when we went to the Schramm farm in Olds.
Actually our day started in Drumheller where the boys had a double play date with friends Thane and Liam at Greentree playground before attending Despicable Me (where once again I was the rare Laugher at times amongst a sea of kids.) Sometimes this belly laugh erupts out of me when characters take things too far. I'm so out of practice at going to films, too. Only one or two a year is not enough to remember to stifle. Anyway, we had a special time with the boys, then headed off through the harvest fields and a VERY ROUGH Highway 9 construction towards Olds. We must have counted 16 combines -- no, more. More like 16 fields that were team combining with 4 each. Yeah, that's more like it. And it was a wonderful whopping 27 degrees =perfect. [That's 80.6 F for my American family and friends.] Anyway, it was a good drive (except for that nasty construction stretch where we nearly high centered!!) and we arrived safely. Cassia and her two dogs and 3 donkeys and 2 two horses greeted us.
What a special place, and special people.
We got to feed the donkeys and horses carrots and carrot tops and settled in for a wonderful meal. --Oh yeah, and I took a bit of a nap!
The next day we attended mass at their church and our family got to help bring forward the offertory and elements for communion with the Schramms. That was special and interesting. I thought the boys would chicken out, but they walked bravely and did a good job handing the gold and silver items to the African priest with the big smile.
After church we searched out a geocache near the Shramm's drive and took and left a few treasures. Then we fed the donkeys and horses again while the boys played in the barn with Cassia's younger brother Daniel. In fact Daniel and the boys played together pretty much all the time we were there. I don't think I've had so much adult conversation in one day for a long time. Another special treat was having the boys sleep in the camper outside. They were tickled.
Then we had a special Thanksgiving meal together. I baked some of mom's rolls, which took forever to rise, but it didn't matter in the end. They were good. And so were all the fresh vegetables and fruit, ham and potatoes, and apple pie.
What a special time.
We even got to bring home a bundle of fresh Schramm beets and I've since made buckets of borscht!
Cassia's on my mind a lot now as she's buried in "Secret Garden" rehearsals as Mary Lennox. This farm girl is getting a good dose of theatre this year. And I especially enjoyed picking carrots with her, when I spotted a good "bit of earth" under her fingernails.
The other day as we were carving one of our pumpkins Donovan asked, "What's your favorite holiday, Mom?" "Well..." I said, thinking. "Besides Christmas, of course," he cut in. "I think Thanksgiving" I said. "Because it's about people coming together and connecting." "That's just cause you're not a kid" he said. "Otherwise you would have said, 'Halloween.'" He's right. When I was a kid Halloween was my second favorite holiday right after Christmas and in close contention with my birthday -- all times when you got great gifts and/or candy. I was pleasantly surprised to acknowledge that I really, really like Thanksgiving. Christmas too, but sometimes it takes awhile for the flurry of Christmas giving and festivities to mellow into the heartfelt truthtelling that Thanksgiving inspires by its simplicity. Yes, there can be the stress of a great meal, but really there is nothing else to do but cook, talk, eat, and talk. Unless you have a tv.
I am grateful.

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