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Monday, October 13, 2014

Thanksgiving

Hello friends,

Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Psalms 106:1

Today is Thanksgiving Day here in Canada.

It is when we mark the end of harvest season and thank God for all the bounty and blessings he has provided.

I still remember this special time of year from when I was quite young. At church  there would always be a cornucopia filled to the brim with squashes and gourds of various kinds during the month of October in anticipation of Thanksgiving. It would sit in a prominent place at the front of the church in front of the pulpit. Somehow it always brought me joy and a feeling of comfort.

At the same time my mother would always prepare a magnificent feast for the special day. Honestly I have never seen anyone do it quite like her and I'm not even sure how or why she started the tradition of feeding so many people on this day.  She would get up very early and literally prepare a hotel type buffet every year.  Though I enjoyed having all kinds of food to eat I used to tell her she prepared far too much food but she ignored me.  She would really want to give her very best and in so doing made all kinds of salad, vegetables and desserts.  She would also roast a huge turkey with lots and lots of stuffing and gravy.

We would eat our family meal together rather early.  We usually ate between noon and 1 p.m. because mother thought it a waste of the day to have dinner in the evening.  After we ate, people would drop in throughout the day and into the evening to share our table and visit.  It was always a great source of pleasure and pride for mother to entertain her family and loved ones in this way. And the guests really enjoyed it. My uncle would often bring someone from out of town to join us as he had a kind heart and didn't want people to be without friends and family on this day of Thanksgiving.

In my older years, I never saw another cornucopia again.  I also never saw anyone else prepare such a large feast and invite others to drop by all day and night long.

From time to time, I  invite others over for a holiday dinner and I do make more than an average dinner.  But it is nothing like the feast my mom would have prepared. I would like to retain that memory as something special to her and not try to emulate it.



I wasn't going to make dinner this year because next week I hope to prepare a lot of food for my church's monthly "love feast" and didn't want to do so much cooking so close together.  I am also feeling a bit poorly so am trying to take it easy. However I ended up preparing a meal unexpectedly. Instead of turkey and all the trimmings I prepared a ham with bone in. I love ham. I am kept it simple with just mashed potatoes, gravy and cabbage. I wasn't into making salads and other veggies today today and certainly don't need any more dessert.  It was just the "right" meal for the day.


This year at Thanksgiving I am thankful that my mom is still among us. I am thankful that my family is intact and that friends are still with me. I'm thankful for the love and provision of God. I'm thankful that there is another day that I am breathing and alive and have an opportunity to do good to others. I am happy too when God gives me joy and gladness and helps me to see the many ways that he blesses my life because let's face it, most of us have days when we don't feel too joyful or when we don't see how blessed we are compared to some others.  It is always good to remember one's blessings. I have learned that there is always someone else who has it much worse and I think there but for the grace of God, go I. I have also been privileged to travel to parts of the world where people literally have nothing. No shelter, no food, no idea where their next meal is coming from. I can truly say I am among the blessed and I don't ever want to take that for granted.


I hope wherever you are in Canada, you have enjoyed the day and that you too see many blessings in your life. However hard life is there are still blessings if we can see beyond our circumstances.

I know my friends in the USA don't celebrate until November and I wish you all a happy time in preparing for the special day in your country.

May God bless us all with another wonderful year with family and friends, food, shelter, joy and a chance to bless someone else.

10 comments:

  1. What a beautiful ham. And bean soup and split pea soup. Yum, yum

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    1. Thank you Joanne. It was delicious and you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned bean and split pea soup. I bought beans last week and peas too! Yum. Today I made lentil soup and it was a treat.

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  2. Happy Thanksgiving, Penny! I did not realize that your Canada Thanksgiving Day is only about a little over one month before our US. Thanksgiving. Your ham is so perfectly baked. The skin is so beautiful and crunchy, and inside its moist and tender. Our is the traditional turkey, of course; but I also make a huge ham, although this year I may not, since everyone is watching their weight I will have to lighten up the meals...which is almost next to 'impossible' on a holiday. Thanks for sharing the lovely photos in your previous post of China Town! We do not have China Town anywhere near here, in S. Florida but we do have little "Havana' in Miami, which is not that far. We have a huge influx of Hispanic culture here. I haven't been making my rounds in commenting for a while...but I will make more of an effort to visit and comment on your blog; you always post such beautiful and interesting things! xoxo

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    1. Thank you for visiting Elizabeth. I do love ham and seem to only get a chance to eat it at Thanksgiving (rare), New Year (more frequent) and Easter (rare). So I do like an occasion to search for it in the stores at these times of year when the price is better. These days it does seem like everyone is watching their weight and their health so these rare times of indulgence are just that, rare ;-) I do love Chinatown and our other ethnic neighbourhoods. Sadly just yesterday I hear the same fate is happening to our Punjabi Market. Most of the vendors have moved to a suburb across the water from me. I always enjoy your visit whenever you can drop by!

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  3. Hi Joyful, You are such a good writer. I enjoyed the story of how your mom prepared such a wonderful Thanksgiving meal for the family and friends. I am sure you cherish that memory. Thanksgiving was a special meal for my family as well and, yes, I do recall that mother, on a couple of occasions, prepared a ham. I can’t honestly say which I prefer … turkey or ham … when done right, either one is great! I am sorry to hear that you were not feeling so well on T Day … hope you will take it easy and get feeling better soon, if not already. Well, we had some rain and a bit of wind down here and things have cooled down a little. I wonder if you experienced the same as I did here for the first half of October … it really didn’t seem as cool as years past … kind of holding on to the summer warm. I am so happy that things have finally cooled down. Another thing I’ve noticed down here is that although the trees are changing color, they just don’t seem as spectacular as last year. I am wondering if it is due to such a dry summer. I will look forward to your next update on SNAP THAT. John

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  4. Penny, you wrote a lovely post about your memories of your mother and Thanksgivings past. Did it occur to you that you've written a vignette for your memoir? How many others might you have written already in your blog? :)

    Blessings and smiles,
    Linda

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  5. Such a beautiful post my friend. Happy thanksgiving.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  6. Your post was so inspirational to me today,you touched my heart reminding me to not feel sorry for myself as you said so well,so many people have nothing.I think,why am I so gloomy when I have my freedom & God has placed me here another day to do some good where it needs done.
    BTW,that ham looks so yummy!!! Phyllis

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  7. Happy thanksgiving belated though it is. Sent you get well wishes on your latest post but here they are again as I am commenting backwards today. Your Mum sounds like a great hostess with a big heart. Amazing to open your home like that I wish we were more trusting of others in our communities over here. Sometimes life gets so busy you don't realise how alone you are until you stop and look around for a moment, I loved the harvest season as a child too, when we all brought food into school to be give out to those in need. Sometimes people are not hungry for food it's the human contact and feelings of belonging that go with it. I've been reading about how children who have suffered trauma or loss of some kind, depending on their experiences of course, can have difficult memories or relationships with food. We can take so much for granted sometimes can't we. Your posts always remind me of how lucky I am.

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  8. What a lovely post ... What thanksgiving is really all about! Wonderful memories of your moms feasts. I loved her socks in the pos above btw!

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