This is the first Thanksgiving without my Dad.
I can remember his excitement at the prospect of going up near Georgian Bay to close the cottage of his good friend Bill Ward. The two would prepare for it like kids going to summer camp. The steaks. The I.P.A. The fancy breakfasts. The hike through the bush. The sounds of the geese, the blue jays, the red squirrels, the chipmunks who would feed from their laps. On a couple of occasions I was included in the odyssey. I remember the fascination of watching a stand of silver birch empty themselves of yellow in a single windy day. Neighbours down the lake shore (from Sudbury) would be called over. Perhaps their boys would offer a couple of partridge from a traditional Thanksgiving hunt. And then the bracing chill of the clear, starry autumnal night air.
Or perhaps even earlier it would have been a leisurely Thanksgiving at home with the football on TV and Dad in his Adidas suit doing the leisurely progressive afternoon soup pot extravaganza...and the fireplace crackling for a cozy evening together reading or talking.
On other occasions Mom would out-do herself with the full turkey meal and a visit with jovial Danish Aunts or grandparents from either side of the family. The house would be filled with the sound of music, good smells and laughter.
The mature trees in our neighbourhood brought their own special glory in final show of colour. The leafy rustle in the wind or underfoot recalled the play of childhood years. The squirrels darted everywhere in fast-paced preparation and comedy.
What wonderful times we had. Yes, give thanks. As the old chorus so aptly says:
Give thanks with a grateful heart;
Give thanks to the Lord above.
Give thanks for He has given us
Jesus Christ His Son.
And because of that gift the celebration will go on; the glad reunion is inevitable.
(See the earlier post entitled Now Thank We All)