Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanking God for Family and Blessings

Among our many blessings this year was being able to see the Eiler family so soon after last weekend. We had seen them less than usual this year because of various conflicts, so it was very satisfying to have them come in before midnight Wednesday for the Thanksgiving holiday, which also happened to be my 73rd birthday.

Having a baby in the family was another great blessing this year. It had been seven years since Cecelie was a baby, so we are really enjoying our first great grandchild Aidan, who is an extremely pleasant and calm baby--ready to join in and interact with all his relatives and willing to go smiling to any of us.

I had a clean sheet on Mary Ellen’s baby bed in a downstairs bedroom ready for him if he needed a nap. Over nine years ago, Gerald and I drove a pickup to Three Rivers, MI, and picked up this bed and a truckload of other baby things Mary Ellen was passing onto the Cedars for baby Samuel. When Samuel outgrew the baby bed, somehow it ended up at Pondside, so Cecelie used it when they visited there. Here at Woodsong, it has often been filled with a visitor’s luggage, coats, or other items, but no baby.

Aidan refused to stay asleep downstairs long enough to be laid anywhere, but when the family moved up to the dining room/kitchen for our Thanksgiving dinner, Aidan was asleep in his mother’s arms. In the living room, he was laid in my daddy’s little antique crib that so many of our babies have slept in down through the years, and that pleased me.

It also pleased me when he woke up in time to join the other 15 family members before the end of dinner--even though Tara had a difficult time discouraging Grandpa Gerry from feeding Aidan sweets. With pies and banana pudding and Geri Ann’s adorable turkey cupcakes, there were plenty of sweets to choose from. Tara is conscientious in refraining from feeding Aidan unhealthy food. It was wonderful to have Gerry safely home from Mexico and keeping us laughing with his stories and adventures.

Even though the Cedars only live in Marion, it had been awhile since Katherine was able to make the trip out, so her presence was especially welcome. She was able to lie down for an afternoon rest. Samuel had to stay all night to play with his cousins. If not for Aidan at their house, I am sure Geri Ann would have wanted to come back here too after their second feast at Grandma Shirley’s house down the road from us. I hope Tara was able to keep Grandpa Gerry from mis-feeding her healthy baby boy at the next family dinner. If he ever gets a taste of his great great Grandma Borum's chocolate pie, he will have a confirmed sweet tooth for life.

We missed Erin this year as she was visiting a softball friend in California. Davie was having Thanksgiving dinner with a new friend in Seattle, WA, where he is in school. Mary Ellen’s family was in Florida visiting Brian’s mother who has semi-retired there and hosting this year's annual family Thanksgiving get-together. We had prayed for traveling mercies for all the family, and we thanked God for their safe arrival at various destinations.

Leslie’s holiday trip was made fabulous today when her parents took her guitar shopping at the area music stores. Grandpa Gerald went along while I stayed with the three grandkids sleeping in and playing as hard as they could play here at Woodsong. Elijah made him and Samuel scrambled eggs to go with the bacon I’d prepared, and I was able to keep Cecelie from eating pudding until after lunch.

The shoppers had ended up at Mayberrys in Jonesboro and found the Taylor guitar Leslie wanted. Her dad decided now was also the time for her to get the amplifier she needed. She has been borrowing equipment and saving money from her gigs to buy equipment. Now she is prepared for the four-hour gig she has accepted at Happy Joe’s on New Year’s Eve. We were treated at our late afternoon lunch with hearing her play the new guitar. Nine helped eat up some of yesterday’s leftovers. Cecelie got her pudding, and G’ma sent some in plastic cups for a snack on the trip home.

As always, it was sad to see the last van head out the lane--this year with licensed Leslie at the wheel. After the hugs and goodbye waves, I went back inside to put dishes in the dishwasher. Now we pray for their safe arrival and for everyone else’s safe arrival back at their own homes.

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