OK, first of all, I need to confess that I did not cook anything for Thanksgiving. Now, to be fair, I do host the Thanksgiving Feast at Montgomery Academy the Thursday before Thanksgiving, and I provide the turkey and the dressing, so I did cook a turkey this year (and I might add, it was QUITE tasty this year too. Not that I'm bragging or anything.) And I did help the kids bake- they all brought desserts. Flower brought Pumpkin Bars (She uses the Better Homes and Garden recipe, and she makes them several times over the fall and winter), Jelly Bean made sugar cookies, used a leaf cookie cutter, and then frosted them with white frosting, and made a face on them with chocolate chips. They were DELISH!
But I must also confess that my favorite baking experience was with Super. During preschool this week, we read Cranberry Thanksgiving a couple of times. And on Wednesday, when we got to the end, and we were talking about the recipe, he asked "Can we make the world famous cranberry bread, Mommy? Please?" and I said "Of course."
Now, I must confess that I LOVE the Cranberry Thanksgiving book. The book is published by Parents Magazine Press, and I think that Parents Magazine Press was a book club back in the 70s, because at my house, we had several books from Parents Press (My personal favorite is The Blah, but I also loved Cranberry Thanksgiving, How Fletcher Was Hatched, Donkey, Donkey, Santa Makes a Change, and Ma Lien and the Magic Brush).
My younger brother, when he was about 3, got a hold of The Blah book, tore the cover off, and drew on a few pages. I was devastated. I had hoped that I would be able to keep the book and read it to my kids someday. (My younger brother and I are 10 years apart. Apparently, I was thinking way ahead.) I must have expressed this to my mom, because one day in my 20s, she sent me The Blah book. She had found a way to put the cover illustration on a piece of cardstock, laminated the cover, and then had the rest of the book bound with comb binding. I was so touched that she had remembered.
She didn't, however, keep a hold of the other books, but in my recent thrift store travels, I have been able to pick up several of the titles - all hardcover, and MUCH lower than people are selling them on Amazon (I think the most I've spent for a book is 75 cents.) I picked up Cranberry Thanksgiving sometime last year.
So Wednesday, Super and I went to the grocery store together. We took the book, and as I put each item, in the cart, he would exclaim "Check!" When we checked out, he told the cashier that he was making WORLD famous cranberry bread, and when she didn't seem impressed enough, he said it MUCH louder. He helped with every step of preparing the bread, and near the end, he said, "I love Mother and Son cooking, Mommy." I confess that a couple tears might have fallen in the batter.
But here's the biggest confession of all: I have been thinking, lately, how I didn't have much to be thankful for this year. I am embarrassed to confess that I wasn't even all that grateful for simple, but oh so important things - like my home, my car, my friends, or even my family. The past couple years around The Simple Home haven't been easy ones. Much of the time, I can look at the good in things and in people. But then there are times, times when things aren't even necessarily bad, that I just get sad. I get sad, and mad, and upset, not only about the bad times that we've been through, but also that things aren't WAY better now. Sometimes, I am not grateful for the times that we are just getting through.
But then, thankfully, my eyes are finally opened. I am able to see how much I do have to be thankful for, especially for those simple things - like my home, my car, my friends, and my family. For me, it was yesterday. We were at relatives, relatives who have lots of money, and lots of things, but who don't have children. But they love ours. And other family, who were there, who said something kind, or something funny. (I laughed more this Thanksgiving than I remember for awhile.) And our children, came up to both of us yesterday, myself and Mr. Simple, just to give us a hug, or to ask to sit on a lap, or to give a kiss. Or in Super's case, to ask to read "Cranberry Thanksgiving" one more time.
I have much to be grateful, this year and every year. I'm thankful for so much. Really. I am blessed to be able to have SO many people around me - both far and near - who truly seem to care for me. People who help me so much, with things that they do, things that they say, and just being there to listen. And I am grateful that these people seem to be willing to continue to care for me, even when I don't deserve it, and even when I am ungrateful. I am thankful that I do have a home. I am thankful for my car. I am thankful for friends. And I am thankful for my family. And I'm thankful that I get to be alive, and hopefully, use my time here to learn how to be a little bit more grateful.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I hope that you had a wonderful day. But I will confess that I think I had the best one.
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