a smile from God
Southern California has just gotten cooler in the last two days...I've actually had to turn the heater on to 70 to take the chill off the house. Longer sleeved shirts have replaced my tank tops. Sweat pants are the norm these days. The sun has a darker glow in the late afternoon making evenings appear earlier than the summer. I'll be working in my office and before I know it, its dark outside and it's only 5pm...not my favorite time of year. I'm a sun person, I love to feel the warmth of the sun on my face and skin...now it's the cool air that gives me goose bumps and makes me rush to get my sweater or the usual 'Kailua' hoodie that makes up my fall wardrobe. I know...I know all my friends laugh at me but when the temperature dips below 55...this island girl starts to freeze.
The one thing I really love about the fall is all the family gatherings that happens in big doses. We rush around the beginning of each year...the spring passes as does summer...never having much time to spend with family because we find ourselves traveling for work and play. Things start to slow down in October for us...the Tour winds down...Scott and I find ourselves with longer periods at home.
Starting with Halloween, we make it a point to gather with my sister and her family to carve pumpkins and watch the kids go 'trick or treating.' Yes, Brea, who is 25, will go trick or treating with her much younger cousins...they bring back bags full of candy and we all start grabbing for our favorites.
November rolls around to find my dad and step mom arriving from Yuma for Thanksgiving. For the last three years, we have been celebrating on Fridays since Brea's job holds her captive on Thanksgiving. Not really...but it does sound good doesn't it...she gets time and a half so why not celebrate a day late...any day can be Thanksgiving...when you think about it.
Our Thanksgiving's have become three day affairs. Friday is turkey day...with all of the family and friends gathering together...Brea bringing friends home for dinner, Sean home from school, my sister's family, my dad and step-mom, my in-laws. It is a special day full of catching up...food...talking...food...laughter...food...everyone lending a helping hand...oh yeah did I mention food??? We have enough to feed a small nation. Thank goodness, Saturday is 'leftover' day...we gather for leftovers, enjoying each other's company and playing games. Sunday is 'jook'day...we take all the left over turkey...carcass, meat, stuffing, gravy and mix it with a rice gruel that simmers on the stove all day...filling the house with the last smell of Thanksgiving...then we eat it with chutney...cilantro...and freshly made bread...a definite 'Japanese' tradition in our house. We have our fill and when Christmas arrives we do it all over again and again for New Year's Eve. A cycle that repeats itself as each new year begins and I am thankful for that.
I think my favorite moment of each of those gatherings is how we encircle the island in our kitchen...everyone holding hands...we thank the Lord for his many blessings that he has given each and everyone of us. We shake the love at the conclusion so everyone is filled with it. We sit around the dinner table and enjoy each other's company. These are the times I cherish and thank the Lord that we still can be together.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you...may it be filled with a family's love.