• Sharon Shirk

Lancaster County Thanksgiving

This is the time of year that feels like you could blink too long and the end of the year would arrive. Part of it is that there is so much going on and part of it seems to be that we pretty much know what is planned for most days between now and year-end. It’s a lot like last year, and the years before that. With family gatherings around Thanksgiving and then hunting season for the adventurous among us, and shopping for Christmas, and cards to send, and cookies to bake, and gifts to wrap, and programs and dinner parties to attend. It’s a never-ending list of things to do and places to go. And by the time, you have done them as many years as we have, it has become routine and familiar.

Me and new grandbaby, Anna Scout

You know the energy it will take whether you have it or not and before you know it or can catch up, the calendar turns and there is Christmas and then the New Year. Thanksgiving was almost like usual this year, there was one small difference. We cooked food, and everyone who could gathered around the table. That was usual. The unusual part was that we had a 5 month old with us. It’s been quite a long time since there was a baby in this family so that was so fun. She’s a smiling baby who was passed around all evening and didn’t seem to tire of it. If there is something more fascinating than a happy grandbaby face, I don’t know about it!

We have other things to be thankful for too. We all have jobs. That is something to be thankful for this year since it’s a year that most of us know someone who’s lost a job and is job hunting. Our grocery bills are higher but we are still well-fed (reminder that hot oatmeal in the morning is good-for-you food and is still very in-expensive, go ahead and add lots of brown sugar, your bought cereals have tons of sugar in them.) We have houses with roofs over our heads and fuel for heating them. We have two new grandchildren born in 2011, and we are grateful for their safe arrivals. One was only ten days old on Thanksgiving day.

Our list of things to be thankful for is very long but we won’t write them all here. Most of all we have each other. Family is a precious thing. We stand up for each other. We believe in each other. We pray together. In my powder room, there is a framed piece that has these words on it that says so much about what I believe is important for these days.

My Thanksgiving Centerpiece

“In this home….

We believe in living deeply, laughing often, and loving always.

We believe we were brought together to support and care for each other.

We believe in celebrating together our faith, our heritage, our traditions.

We believe that everyone’s feelings count, and that the uniqueness of each of us strengthens all of us.

We believe in the power of forgiveness to heal and the power of love to carry us through.

We believe in one another in this family. In this home.”

Take time to count your blessings. It truly makes you a happier person.

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