Thursday, November 19, 2015

Who Will Be at Your Table? Thursday's Reflection

A week from today families and friends all across the nation will gather to give thanks and gorge on abundant amounts of food. I have a tiny kitchen, and I am not sure exactly how I am going to manage, but I will, happily so. Our children and their spouses, the grandchildren, and my father will assemble to eat and laugh and remember and give thanks, and eat some more. 

We will remember my mother and her scalloped corn and her jello salads and her pie crust. We will remember my father's oyster dressing, which I will not be making, and how every year he asked,  "Guess how much oysters cost this year."

We will remember the year our daughter-in-love's mother and father were with us, and we caught Mary turning over the turkey dinner plate to see whose pattern this was. (Johnson Brothers). We all got the giggles. Little did we know that would be her last Thanksgiving.

We will remember the year when Ralph the dog ate the apple pie, but we still had more than enough desserts to feed us all.

I will remember driving into Ohio's Amish country to get a fresh turkey at a small Amish butcher shop and then getting up early to start the roasting, good smells filling the house even before everyone got up for breakfast. 

I remember our granddaughter Maren in charge of making place cards. 

I remember setting the table. Sometimes our tablecloth on our nine foot harvest table, the centerpiece of our home at Sweetwater Farm, was a vintage blanket or quilt. As I set the table with turkey plates, crystal and silver, I blessed the space. I offered a blessing for all those who would be with us and all those who were no longer with us. I prepared for sacred time. 

I have a folder with my Thanksgiving menus from the last 10 years or so --not that the menu varies that much--and perhaps tomorrow I will make the first of many trips to the grocery store. I have ironed the vintage white napkins and thought about how to decorate the table this year. I am beginning to prepare for sacred time. 

Yes, I know each moment has a whisper of sacredness in it, and yes, I know each breath is an opportunity for gratitude, but Thanksgiving, gathering at the table, can awaken us to our many blessings. And to the sacredness of all life. 

An Invitation
What happens when you gather at the table? How do you prepare for this sacred time? I would love to know. 


  1. The first time in two years, all of my family will gather in our new home. The list of preparations are long, the time together will be short, filled with who we are now and how we came to these moments. We will remember our father who died when all of us were far too young to lose his nurturing love, our mother who was born on 02/22/22 and died on 03/03/03 -- obviously, a significant place in the universe and in our lives and my brother who lived the last months of his life learning his significance among hundreds who received his blessings. And on Friday, we will make our grandmother's beet soup, affectionately known as "pink" soup with or without the "junk" -- rich beets, onions, and meat or strained to delight our young eyes with frosting pink warmth and sweetness. There is corn in my freezer from what I thought was the end of the season. (Corn continues to be a mainstay for one Farmers Market vendor. Last year was the first time that corn in the form of a pudding, a southern treat was part of our first Thanksgiving, south of the Mason Dixon line. Scalloped corn sounds far more perfect for my Midwest roots. Will you share the recipe? Thank you for the blessings that you share with so many.

  2. Having experienced your excellent cooking and hospitality this summer, I have an inkling of how wonderful your gathering will be. Thanks for sharing your comments at this busy time. My brother is the keeper of the scalloped corn recipe--he makes it much better than I have in the past. I will pass on to you the basics. Back to my list-making!

  3. Sweet memories of so many Thanksgivings past! Your post made my heart ache a little, remembering my mother's excellent turkey, and my older sister's pumpkin pie. Families who gather together for such celebrations are blessed!

  4. We are blessed in the memories, too. Thanks for your comment.


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