I know I did not realize what a blessed childhood I had. My Dad was a carpenter for many years until he fell off a roof and the resulting injuries changed everything. While he was recovering he spent many hours visiting with the owner of a local pet shop (back in the days before malls and mega pet businesses). The owner and his wife wanted to retire and move to Florida, my parents needed a new direction so they bought The Aquarium Pet Shop. It provided enough for our family of six and the assorted relatives that lived with us on and off over the years. I learned how to make change at the register and check in stock. When I wasn't working at the pet shop, I was home taking care of my younger siblings so Mom could help Dad.
They worked hard. It was not a business you could close and go on vacation and we didn't. But they managed to give us kids a great life and we lived close to dozens of relatives so there was always a wedding, shower, funeral, or someone in the hospital. We were together most weekends as a large, noisy supportive Italian family. Without realizing it, I got excellent training in how to take care of a house and little children. I also saw the value of family and spending holidays sharing traditions.
We did Thanksgiving at Aunt Juanita's house, as she had a huge dining room. Even so, we had to eat in shifts, the little kids eating first and the big kids watching them later when the parents ate. Our dinners were multi courses and we ate for hours and hours. Others dropped in and left during the day and every year I would meet relatives I did not even know I had. When dinner was finally over we gathered everyone in the living room and watched old home movies. What a riot. How I wish I still had those!
When I married, we settled in New England and then moved to California, with another move to Texas. Over the years we lived in many places and the kids changed schools until we settled at Clairbourn and then they went away to Principia for high school and college. But we always had Thanksgiving together. They opt for a very traditional menu and I try to fix their favorite things each year. Now we have six 'grands' in the mix and a whole lot of 'extra kids' from the college as no one should be alone on the holidays. Principia gave the faculty and staff large turkeys this year and our 22 pounder is in the oven right now. I expect it will be but a memory by the time the holiday weekend is over.
But there is always time each Thanksgiving Day to give thanks for all those blessings. It usually comes over me when I watch, yet again, the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Or when we watch Miracle on 34th Street. Or when I look around and see everyone eating and laughing around the tables. And now the 'grands' are taking part and they are the ones who ask to hear those funny family stories about when their parents were little.
The thing I am most grateful for is how Christian Science came into my life when I needed it most. It has lifted me and comforted me and supported me. I am a better person for this study of the Bible and Science and Health. And I love being in the full time practice and praying with others.
May this day and the rest of this holiday season fill you with joy and appreciation. May the coming year offer you opportunities for spiritual growth. God is good, He loves each one of us. The windows of heaven are open wide pouring out blessings and grace. My heart overflows.