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So Much to be Thankful for
11/27/2013 9:20:37 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch

Well, I don’t know about you but I am sure looking forward to Thanksgiving. I didn’t think I would ever be looking forward to the children being home but there is a good side to their visit, it’s only temporary and they have a job. That’s a lot to be thankful for.

My son lives out of state and doesn’t get home too often so I generally prepare a “to do list” for him. That was before he got married several years ago. For all mothers out there, y’all know that when your children get married, you have to take a back seat.

Now, I know we don’t always do that but that is what we should do. Y’all know what the good book says about “forsaking all others and clinging” to your spouse. So, I stopped preparing a list of things to do when he comes home. I was surprised when he called and said “mom, email what you want me to do while I am at home for the holidays so I can carve out some time to visit some of my old friends and family.”

Well, I sharpened my pencil and started with a roof inspection. I have one of those nightmare roofs with at least three or four pitches with solar panels to boot. I am sure he will have fun “clinging” to the roof. Next on the list was low hot water pressure from a solar powered hot water heater. Since my son’s undergrad degree is Civil Engineering he is qualified to do the inspections; it’s payback time. I sure hope my daughter-in-law doesn’t get to read this because this might just be the end of my son’s “to do list”. I am trying to stay in the back seat but he had a front seat education. Now, y’all can’t blame a girl for getting some return on her investment. I have so much to be thankful for.

Now that I have identified two major areas that will require quite a bit of time, the rest of his time is his time until the next time around. This year, I get to host Thanksgiving dinner. I didn’t say cook Thanksgiving dinner. I said host and that is a clear difference. That’s where my daughter-in-law comes in. I will do the hosting and she can do the cooking. That should keep her busy while her husband is doing the “clinging”. One thing for sure, that gal can really burn. No, I didn’t say burn up.

Now, for those of you who will be coming to dinner, read my lips. You are coming to my home, not Red Lobster. Please don’t think you can pack up dinner for four when you only brought a bottle of soda. That’s a whopping return for your soda. Am I the only one who has to deal with these free loaders? You asked them to bring something and they select the least expensive thing on the list but have no problem packing up everything in sight to go. I have to hide the ‘luminum foil and take out containers. I know Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to gather and enjoy the fellowship but y’all know it’s at least one in the family who thinks Thanksgiving is a time to shop for groceries. After loading up their take out containers much like they do at a Chinese buffet, off they go to put them in the car only to return for more. Then, they have the gall to ask if they can take something home for the dog. No! share some of your good fortune that you have already packed up with Fido. Although family will be family, I still have so much to be thankful for.

My son is quite a character. He will stand guard by the door and frisked the guests as they leave to see if they are hiding a turkey leg or ham bone in their socks. It’s always nice to see family come but even better to see them go. I don’t mind folks taking leftovers home but leave something for the other guests. You can’t bring your own foil, plastic bags or boxes to carry home food for the week. Don’t y’all think that’s being a little presumptuous? While you are praying and giving thanks to God for the harvest and His bountiful blessings, you better keep one eye open for the looters.

Thanksgiving!! it’s a good time for family, friends and football. Many of us welcome the four or five day weekend and early bird sales. Thank goodness Thanksgiving only comes once a year. As I mature, it becomes increasingly difficult for me to be selective with so many palatable dishes. It’s funny how we can stick to our diets for 357 days and on July 4, Thanksgiving and Christmas, we just lose it. I will talk more with y’all when I run into you at the health food store picking up the cleanser and Acai Berry.

While holidays are a good time to give thanks and be happy, remember those that are less fortunate. Take the time to share your blessings with others. Invite someone to dinner who might not otherwise have dinner or who may have to eat alone.

It’s a shame that Thanksgiving is becoming so commercialized. Before you can digest your meal and enjoy leisure time with the family, stores are opening up as early as 5:00 PM to kick off Christmas shopping. I don’t know about you but midnight was early enough. Now, stores have moved the time up to compete for early shoppers’ bucks. Well, they can count me out! Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy family and friends and that is what I plan to do. And don’t y’all let those stores suck you in.

Let the end of this year be the beginning of something new. And while you are still in the thanks giving mood, be thankful for your kids and if you aren’t involved in their lives, get involved. In time, your investment will pay off in dividends that you can’t imagine.

That’s my take on Thanksgiving. Hope you have a good one and if you are travelling, be safe.

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