Sunday, November 27, 2011

get it while it's hot.

I've been slowly coming around to the realization that life will not always be exactly the way it is now. My siblings will probably move away. My children will grow tall. My grandpa will one day leave us to be reunited with his life's love.

This Thanksgiving I've been thankful for the present. For the joy I have each day with my family around me. When we went around the dinner table, taking turns to express our gratitude for something special, I shared my love for photography. Really, I meant I am thankful for now. And that I have a way to preserve it for later. Leftovers in the freezer when the holidays are past for a time.

So I made a special effort to catch the reality of now. No cheeses. Just the way it really is at Grandpa's for dinner. I hope you enjoy a peek into our present and a record worthy of our future reminiscing.

Just try to sneak a piece of Turkey...

Duke's not afraid to chop fingers...

Even hiding in the washroom, everyone will come sniffing.

The boys play underfoot in the kitchen, no matter how many times we tell them to take the party elsewhere.

Mom is always the master chef. The rest of us help with sides and such.


I will sneak you a couple of bites. But don't tell daddy.

Uncle Brenny sets the table. He'll be off to work soon, but we love the time we have him to ourselves.

We leave our plates upside down until we give our thanks.

And more turkey thieving.

Kissing when we find ourselves in an empty room for a brief moment.

Baby faces. Snuggling. Loafing. Reading. Texting. Talking politics.

Oh, and grandpa has the best toy closet.

We come together for the feast. Smiling. Sharing. Laughing. Thanking. Talking talking. Praying.

And eating.

After the plates are scraped clean everyone lobbies for the position of "baby-holder." In this case grandpa wins. His booming voice sends her slumbering.

We slow down to half-speed. We half-chat. Half-nap. We're fully content.

Then a few of us remain at the table for games (usually dominoes) while the rest of us retire to the living room for relaxing or wrestling, depending on our preference.

Uncle Billy soaks in the craziness during his visits. I think we fill his chaos tank to keep him going while he's at home in the beautiful Washington forest. He always comes back when his tank runs low.

I cherish so many things about grandpa's home. It really a place of love. When my grandma was alive she often sang...

There is beauty all around,
When there’s love at home;
There is joy in every sound,
When there’s love at home;
Peace and plenty here abide,
Smiling sweet on every side,
Time doth softly, sweetly glide,
When there’s love at home.

I imagine she watches over us often and is proud of the legacy she left. The home she built with my grandpa wasn't made with walls and a roof, but with loving invitations, effort in areas of kindness and acceptance, and with a constant devotion to family.

Things are always changing. How wonderful to be alert to the present joys while they're happening. I want always to live in thanksgiving.


Rachel said...

This is lovely, but I really appreciate you guys have deviled eggs on Thanksgiving. I seriously thought I was the only one!

Matthew James said...

Our family is the coolest! Love you!