Thanksgiving is possibly my favorite holiday--at least one of the top three: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the Fourth of July. I love all the yummy food that is a big part of the celebration, but more importantly I love getting together with family, and thinking about the things for which I'm truly grateful. If I were to make a list, it would be looooong.
I hope you have a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving. You, my family and friends are right up there on the top of my gratitude list.
"Thou that hast giv'n so much to me, give one thing more, a grateful heart"
It's fall and I raked up a bunch of leaves in our back yard. It was a beautiful day and my body loved (and needed) the workout. After two hours of raking I had three huge piles of pale yellow, ochre, ruddy red, and brown leaves. It was lovely. As I stood admiring my work a thought struck me. What am I going to do with all these leaves?
I couldn't burn them, because now-a-days you have to have a permit, a special metal container, and a fire extinguisher near by. Besides Al Gore might give me dirty looks for contributing to the (bogus) green house effect.
I couldn't put them into bags and take them to the dump, because I would get a black mark for contributing to the land-fill problem.
I couldn't start a compost heap, because my neighbors would complain about the stink, and then ask me if I had the audacity of becoming a tree hugger person in the middle of suburbia.
So, I left them. Yep...they're sitting out there in the backyard; three huge piles of leaves enjoying the sunshine and waiting for the snow to cover them up. I figure the snow will dematerialize them during the winter and, come spring, my husband will just mow them into oblivion.
I guess I could just go back out and scatter the leaves around again. I mean, it's what Mother Nature did in the first place. Who am I to try and improve on her brilliance?
This week my sister is watching our two great nieces, ages ten and seven as their mom and dad are on assignment. You see, my niece and nephew are officers in the Air Force and will be away from home for weeks of special training. My niece will be away from her little girls for two weeks. She'll return home for a month and then be deployed to Afghanistan...for 6 months. Her amazing and capable husband will hold down the fort alone until she returns.
The family approaches this deployment stoically and with positive military grit. These little girls have lived in several US cities, Turkey, and most recently Okinawa. All deployments, until this one, they have gone together as a family. This time my niece goes alone, and into a very dangerous part of the world.
I'm trying to be brave and positive about the whole thing, but I haven't been trained in military grit and dedication, and I get emotional if I spend too much time thinking about the sacrifice. And then, of course, if you multiply their sacrifice several thousand times, you get an idea what these brave patriots put on the line to defend this country, and to help down trodden people around the world.
So, I'm asking you to say a prayer for our brave troops. And if you could add in a personal word of protection for my niece, and strength to her sweet family, it would be appreciated.