Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Of Bonnets, Notes, and Thanksgivings Past and Present

Remember that one time? When I put Summer in a bonnet . . .
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and sent her skipping through the woods to grandmother’s house with a basket of goodies?
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Look at her. She’s definitely skipping. And just about to pause her bright little journey long enough to do some flower picking. Old wolfy. He doesn’t stand a chance. She’s going to charm his socks off.

Also, this totally fridge-worthy note from one of my children to another (I was only given permission to post this if names were not included):
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I just can’t get over the awesomeness of an apology . . . that nobody knows you’ve made.

Speaking of notes. This. Left from Abe informing me that he had left to scouts while I was at the grocery store with the other kids – and letting me know what he’d done while I was away.
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Psh. Well. Did you even bother to do the dishes, son?

Terrible child.

Also, here we are having our annual feast-before-the-feast feast.
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I’m calling it annual. I think I’m even going to call it traditional. Yes. Our traditional “Feast Before the Feast” feast. I like throwing all those “feasts” in one sentence, and, we have, in fact, done this two years running. Maybe three. So . . . traditional and annual enough. A pre-Thanksgiving feast with just our little family. (Though, if I want this “feast” to be taken seriously, it is probably time to break out the china and put the food items in nicer dishes than the pans they were cooked in.)

For some reason, as I cleaned up the above meal, my mind drifted to thoughts of one of my favorite Thanksgivings: I was 20 -- thousands of miles from any family -- nearing the end of my nearly-four-month study abroad experience in Israel. Strange that a very homebody and easily-subject-to-homesickness girl could have one of her very favorite holiday experiences -- so far from family; but . . . we had recently finished our study of the Old Testament and moved onto a study of the New Testament. In doing so, we left our “home” in Jerusalem to spend three weeks at a little kibbutz on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

We were in Galilee.

Studying the life of our Savior.

Did you read that correctly? I was in Galilee studying the life of my Savior!

And, we would be returning to our beloved families in a few short weeks – just in time for Christmas.

And, the people I was with -- these people who had been complete strangers at the start of this experience -- were now the same people I had walked, countless times, in and out of Damascus gate with. They were the people I had traversed the walls of The Old City with; stuck small prayers in The Wailing Wall with; and crept reverently, heads draped, through the early-morning, ultra-orthodox streats of Mea She’arim with to buy a loaf of shabbat bread. They were the ones I’d sung hymns at The Garden Tomb with; and slung stones with in the Valley of Elah.

And here we were – gathered excitedly -- clasping our hands, cheering and clapping over our hosts’ proud attempt to give us a proper American holiday. (Complete with backwards hanging flags and sparklers poking out of such severely undercooked turkeys -- bless our hosts’ good intentions -- that half of our group spent the next day throwing up. Hahah.) Truly though. That evening was one of those rare times of utter and complete, contented happiness.

And . . . well . . . that’s it. Rather abrupt of me, I know. Still, that is all for now. So . . . Happy Thanksgiving! Later skaters!
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