Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Surprise: 90 Guests For Thanksgiving

"So, the breads are cooked and the turkeys are over the fires and we've got the corn pudding.  Now how many are we cooking for?"

"No body's really sure."

"Oh?  Not even a guess?  How are we supposed to know how many to cook for?"

"Just keep cooking.  The Indians are coming."

Last week leading into this one, Violet has been reading this book for her daily reading.  It's a great little story of the first Thanksgiving, starting with the travel across the Great Atlantic to the landing on Plymouth.  As she read her daily portions, I couldn't help but get caught up into the story and leave the sink where I was working on dishes and hover over her shoulder to see if she'd just read that section right...

...2 months on the ship, with very little fresh water...only to drink... no washing baths...a baby born.  What?  Did you read that right?  They couldn't wash their clothes?  Of course the women couldn't wait to get on land to wash their clothes.  Those poor women!

...only half of them lived through the winter.  Half?  Did you read that right?

...the Indians came to the first Thanksgiving; they'd helped with showing the settlers how to plant and fertilize and then harvest the corn.  When they came, the pilgrims invited them, not sure if they'd come or how many there would be and then they did come...

here came 2,  4,  6,  10...

(51 Pilgrims has lived through the winter, half of them children,

so maybe there were 10 women.

I hope there were some helpful men there to do some pit-roasting of the venison and turkey barbecues;  maybe the children were more adept at helping with the cooking.  Let's hope.)

20,    30,    40,    50...

the Indians just kept coming down the path, carrying their freshly killed deer carcasses to ad to the feast.

60,   70,     80,    90.

Yes, 90 Indians came for the first Thanksgiving supper.  And I worry about making enough mashed potatoes, corn pudding, and one dessert for my in-laws Thanksgiving?  Can you imagine feeding all those people?!  And they all stuck around for games (my mother would have loved that part) and more feasting...

for three days.




They were truly thankful.

I don't remember hearing all these details when I was a kid.  I probably did, but there's something about being in the kitchen, being a mother, moving and packing your belongings, facing the unknown in your future that makes the story of the Pilgrims climbing onto a wooden vessel and crossing a huge unknown sea, leaving behind all that they knew, and loved, and family...

because they didn't want to stay in Holland,
where they did have the religious freedom that they wanted,
but they were not willing to give up the culture and language that was theirs;

and they wanted to farm in a land that had room for them to grow,
a future for their children.
  They risked it all, and sacrificed a lot, to do what they did.

It makes me so thankful for so much in my life.  The daily things pop out, the things that they gave up and when they had them again, they were careful to be thankful:

I am thankful for our home, our farm.
It is a roof over our heads.
It is warm and we are protected
and very comfortable.
And we have fresh water to drink, wash, have clean clothes.

I don't think I remember to be thankful for laundry, but I should.

I am thankful for food.
Our plentiful harvest that sits on neat rows in the basement and in the freezers.
God blessed us with a productive garden this year and the shelves are full again because of it.
Our freezers are full of pork and beef that we fed with our own hands.
And I am thankful.

I don't always remember to be thankful for the good harvest when it all needs to be picked and sorted and cleaned and canned,

or fed with our own hands,

but I should be.

 Our family.
I am thankful for my family, but sometimes I forget to be thankful.
I am thankful for them being who they are and for the privilege of having them in my life:

My Farmer, and kids;
my parents and siblings, whether together or far apart;
my in-laws who we get to spend Thanksgiving with and have wonderful times of food and fun;
our extended families.

I don't always remember to be thankful for them,
especially the ones who cry out in the night,
need help getting their socks on,
need the milk poured on their cereal;

But I should be.

And for the many friend in our lives,
near and far, old and new,
because we have the ability to keep them close.
The pilgrims did not have that luxury:
no phones, no internet, not even any regular mail.

They were alone
but found friendship with Indians.

And I cannot forget to be thankful for
the promise of someday...
and for those who have gone before:

for the thief on the cross dying beside Jesus,
who brought me to the realization that I needed salvation from sin.
"And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom" Luke 23:42
because he knew he was not good enough.
And yet Jesus blood and sacrifice IS good enough.
When I finally realized it was not something that I could earn,
I called out to Him,
"Lord, I am not worthy of salvation."
that is when He met my need and gave it to me.

We are given so much right here,
that the pilgrims came here to give to their children...

who eventually became us.
And I am thankful for their courage and sacrifice
and for their example.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Enjoy the wonderful things in your life.
(Try not to eat enough to resemble that original 3 day feast.)


  1. Aunt tonya I like your blog. from Silas.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Oooo, thank you, Silas! I love you!! Happy Thanksgiving; I'll miss all of you up there! Have lots of fun and eat lots of desserts for me!!

  3. What a charming little book and such fascinating facts! Am I the only one cringing that a woman gave birth and couldn't clean up? lol....
    yes, we do indeed have much to be thankful for! What a celebration that first one must have been...

  4. I love your life. Have I said that before?.... I've thought it. You're a blessing to me. =)

  5. Yes, Heather, the part about having the baby really got me as well. Having a baby in a hospital was enough pain and drama for me; no boat-riding baby births for me!!
    Thanks, Traci! You are a blessing to me as well! Your home looks fun with your kids, great experiences, and fantastic sense of humor!

  6. Now that is what I call some canning! YUM! I look forward to seeing you at the party as well. You may want to consider moving your follow reader...some may not see it:)Have great weekend.


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