Thanksgiving this year was easier than most, given a new strategy for smaller dinner parties, house-by-house, followed by an all-family dessert. This modification wasn’t my idea but I think it was a good one.

Preparing for Thanksgiving is a lot of work, no matter how you slice it. The day comes and goes in a blur of cleaning and cooking, bustling and baking and eating, inevitably too much. I have a hard time downsizing any meal, but especially so when the World’s Best Stuffin’ is involved.

This Thanksgiving was unique as we celebrated in a home no longer our own. We closed on the Friday before Thanksgiving. Now we’re houseguests, watching our new home rise quickly on the adjacent lot. This week,  windows and hopefully doors. Heating and plumbing can’t be far behind? We’re just a few weeks of fast tracking from the Big Dig to a Big Move. Fingers crossed!

The past few months have been inordinately stressful. As autumn winds down and Thanksgiving weekend draws to a close I feel tired but also grateful.

For a loving partner in marriage and life, 35 years and counting.

For five beautiful and vivacious grandchildren who brighten our lives. For their parents, who chose to live and work in the North Country and bless us with grandbabies.

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For our own parents who extended grace to us through our growing pains. For our moms, who carry on bravely.

For siblings who are also girlfriends. For girlfriends who are like siblings. For aunts and cousins who are women of courage and faith. For the opportunities to connect with all periodically, especially in person.

For the ability to read and freedom to write. For a formal education. For lifelong learning opportunities — all too often taken for granted in the good ol’ USA. For home office privileges in a job I enjoy, working with colleagues I admire.

For the four full seasons we enjoy in the North Country and — especially this year — for a mild autumn so conducive to construction!

For the beauty of the day and rest in the night. And for you also, I am grateful.

This old hymn says it so much better, eh?

For the Beauty of the Earth

For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,

Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flow’r,
Sun and moon, and stars of light,

Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild,

Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

~ René Morley


Hymn Text: Folliott S. Pierpoint, 1835-1917
Hymn Music: Conrad Kocher, 1786-1872

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