As we approach Thanksgiving day, I would like to honor the Pilgrims who made this holiday possible. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated by this hardy, faithful band the year following their landing in the New World in October 1621. The feast from their harvest lasted three days.
In an account by attendee Edward Winslow, he wrote that the celebration we call Thanksgiving included 90 Native Americans and 53 pilgrims. After enduring a year of hardship while settling in this uncivilized land, the Pilgrims prepared a feast to thank God for their survival and His blessings. The American Indians were invited to the feast. It was they who played an instrumental part in the Pilgrims' survival by teaching them how to plant crops so their food supply would never run out.
Down through the years, families have formed their own traditions, keeping the holiday basically the same. Thanksgiving is still a day to celebrate our blessing—an occasion surrounded by a huge meal and family and friends gathered around the table.
Our meal consists of 20 or more family members and friends. We have a huge turkey with dressing, and side dishes and desserts too numerous to mention. We bless the food, then partake of the feast. Laughter and conversation reverberate throughout the house.
The most memorable Thanksgivings for me were when we had the Blessing Box. I covered it with Christmas paper and cut a slit in the top large enough for a hand to reach inside. Each family member wrote what he or she was most thankful for. Without revealing it, each dropped his/her folded paper through the slit. The box was then passed around the table so everyone could reach in and take a paper out. The object of the game was to read the paper aloud and guess whose wrote it. If the person who drew the paper could not guess, everyone joined in and made guesses.
The messages in the blessing box evoked emotion; some of the notes made us laugh while others made us teary-eyed. One paper that threw us for a loop was written by my niece who was a newlywed. She wrote, “I am thankful for my two children . . .” Since she was not a mother or even expecting, no one could guess who had penned the note. After letting us sweat for several long minutes, my niece admitted she had written the note and that the “two children” were none other than her newly-adopted cats.
Somehow, in all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, the Blessing Box was forgotten. I think it's time to reinstate it. Don't you? As Americans who live in a free land, we have much to be thankful for.
She thought by running away, she could escape her past. Never in her wildest dreams is Jaela expecting what she finds in Macon. Her place of escape leads to an interesting summer spent with a simple handyman whose mixture of charm and teasing frustrates her and draws her like a magnet at the same time.
Will Jaela's soul-searching lead to emotional healing and a lasting love? What will she find tucked inside her childhood music box?