I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Thanksgivings past and present–feel the gratitude

Since my father was a minister, our family moved every few years as Dad was called to a different pastorate. As I grew up, we moved to Ontario Canada, to Minnesota, to Wisconsin, to Wyoming, to Kansas and to Iowa where I graduated from high school and started college. Each place we lived offered different Thanksgiving experiences

I was too young to recall how we celebrated, or if we celebrated, the American holiday of Thanksgiving in Canada. By the time we moved back to the states, I was old enough to have memories of this holiday. Mom’s step-mom and sister lived in Minneapolis. In the fall, we headed to Gramma Salstrand’s apartment that she shared with her daughter. Usually these apartments were created from an old house with the owners on ground floor and tenants, my Grandmother and Aunt Esther, living in the upstairs, which had been turned into a living quarters—usually reached by a long, curved stairway. 

I watched Gramma Salstrand stuff and sew up the huge turkey. We had mashed potatoes and cranberries and so much more. Dessert had to wait as we needed time to assimilate all we’d already eaten. The next day my sister Karin and I went with mom downtown Minneapolis to shop for Christmas. The displays both in store windows and in the stores themselves were mesmerizing. 

When we moved to Lance Creek, Wyoming Thanksgiving was very different. Our “family” became other pastors and their families. We met at a pastor’s home in Laramie. All weekend the house was wall-to-wall people. I learned about mince meat pie—and decided I didn’t like it. At night we kids covered the floor of a room under individual blankets—talking and laughing. The next day before we headed home, Mom, Karin and I, while Paul stayed with Dad, headed downtown to Christmas shop. 

Laramie was a far cry from Minneapolis, but considering how small the town where we lived was, Laramie seemed quite large. Our trips on Thanksgiving left positive memories.

Though not on Thanksgiving Day, our small country church in Kansas held a fundraiser meal. The young people served until we were exhausted. So many packed the church basement for the meal that those in the kitchen and we servers who were told to wait to eat, found there wasn’t much left. However, we had a great fundraiser.

After I married, Thanksgiving has differed over the years with the weekend after Thanksgiving becoming the Scheidies weekend “Thankmas.” Thanksgiving Day we spent going out to eat with my brother and sister-in-law. 

For all the different ways we’ve celebrated, one thing remains. Thanksgiving isn’t just about food and fellowship. It’s about remembering and giving thanks, as did the Pilgrims, for God’s many blessings throughout the year. Even better, giving thanks each day starts our day on a positive note.

This Thanksgiving start a habit of food, family and gratitude.

By Carolyn R Scheidies

Published in Kearney Hub 11/18/2019

rss | Email list | blog | Poetry | Devotions | Politics | Books | About