The day begins, chilled kitchen in early morning, waiting for the ticking heat register on the baseboard to warm the room. And a little voice and a hand in mine and an excited, Come and see this. It’s beautiful.

I go, of course, and we peek through window blinds to see the glorious sun, rising on Thanksgiving Sunday.

I could see something pink in the cracks, and then I looked and saw it, and his eyes shine with his discovery, and the day begins with beauty.

It’s full, the day, with preparing food and church and sharing the table with friends. And somewhere in there, there’s a tiny little bit of not-so-thankful-ness.

It hurts to admit, but it starts when he doesn’t have time to carve the turkey when I ask and they don’t clean the basement as clean as I think they should and all these silly little things prick holes in my heart, and some of the thankful leaks away.

It’s silly, I know. So silly, but so human.

Mostly, though, the day is baptized in thankful grace. A beautiful, sun-begun and friendship-warmed day, and this is the honesty of it all. That nothing is perfect, no matter how good the turkey and stuffing and cranberries taste.

Day sinks into evening, and we end it with a long drive to return the oldest to school. I’m tired – we’re all tired – but there is something sweet about finishing this way. Everyone packed into the vehicle, snoozing or listening to music or playing a game on a device, and my husband and I mostly quiet in the front as the prairie rushes by.

IMG_2359 I see the moon outside my window, high and bright in a still-lit sky. I snap her photo quick, and my husband calls my eyes to the view on his side. Sun dogs, glowing beauty around the sinking sun, and he rolls down his window so I can snap them, too.


We carry on, finishing the day the way it began, in glory. And all the little prickly bits are healed – they always are – by the grace of being together, imperfections and all.

Yesterday we had thanksgiving dinner with our Sherwood Park family. We enjoyed turkey, pie, ham, turnips and all the good things that go with thanksgiving. And as I reflect on yesterday, I am grateful for good food, good family, good friends and the good country we live in.

But there are lots of things that have gone before Thanksgiving 2012 that make me thankful for where we are in life now:

An appreciation of humble beginnings makes me grateful for simple things like indoor plumbing, electricity, heat that doesn’t come from a coal powered cook stove, running water, and telephones.

I am thankful for the honest hard-working people who helped make us who we are and the cultural mosaic that makes up our family.  For English, Cree, Norwegian and American folks, foods and traditions. For fry bread and lefsa and turkey and cinnamon buns.

I am thankful I am married to a grandma that enjoys teaching her grandkids how to make cinnamon buns, texts her daughters and grandkids and lets me lurk on her Facebook.

I am thankful for our daughters, the men they married , the grandchildren they have given us and a God who has blessed us abundantly.

And, of course, for cinnamon buns.


I (Janelle) can’t resist adding a few sentences to Dad’s post.

First of all, I love the order in which he listed the good food: turkey, followed by pie, and turnip at the end!

But seriously, when Dad sent me this, he added a note saying that since I was in the middle of my 31 days to loving my home series, I didn’t have to publish his post if I didn’t want to. I think it fits perfectly, though. What more do we want from our homes but that they offer a stage for the heritage-building things that Dad has shared?

If you have such a heritage, be thankful. If you don’t, be inspired to create this for yourself and for those you love.

This post from Dad is part of the 31 days to loving my home series, as well as the regular My Dad and Me series. You can find tabs at the top of the page that will take you to all the posts in either of these series, should you be interested in reading further.

Canadian Thanksgiving, and Lyndon’s mom and dad come for the day. Grandma with pies in her arms and Grandpa with the hunting stories and they come into our home, warm with the good smells of the good dinner to come. We crowd the table, food and extra chairs and the pink ginger ale that signals the specialness of the meal.

We bow and pray and pass the food, and the visiting lasts the hour and through the cleaning up and on into the afternoon. Stories and laughter and a little break for Father and Son to spend an hour outside fixing the dog’s kennel, getting it ready for winter.

The house is full of family, three generations of men and two women for balance, and this day, I think, is a blessing.

The evening draws in, skies darkening and clouds that look like snow, and the table is made full again with the turkey and the buns, and the pies are finished, three helpings each for the boys.

Leftover turkey is packed once more into the fridge. Eggs, fresh from the barn, are washed and made ready for Grandma to take home. The kitchen is tidied and the things are gathered and the signal is given. Time to go.

I think, as I wipe the last crumbs from the kitchen table, that I am a woman mightily blessed. I whisper a prayer for the hungry ones tonight, and I whisper thanks for the day, the food, the family, and the home.

Happy Thanksgiving!


This post is part of a series of posts called 31 days to loving my home. If you’d like to read all the posts in this series, go here.