Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I drove to the airport to pick up my daughter, my mind racing with a frenetic “To-Do” list for the coming days:
1) Pick up last minute, forgotten items at the grocery store. (I did this about four times.)
2) Go to the bakery to pick up birthday cake.
3) Purchase extra pillows for overnight guests.
4) BUY LIQUOR.
5) Clean the toilets.
Faster than the miles that ticked on the odometer, I added new items to my list:
6) Pick up more candles.
7) Look for the tablecloths.
8) Buy pretty paper plates.
I changed stations on my XM Radio from Fox News Talk, to 60’s music. I needed something upbeat, no arguing about the same old political stuff on that day! When I couldn’t get into the song that played, I changed stations again, this time to Oprah Radio with Maya Angelou.
I cleared my mind of thoughts just long enough to hear her say, “I thank God for rainy days.” She told the story of preparing for a large outdoor party, when suddenly, dark clouds began to form, and a downpour began. But she said she thanked God for that rain, because it gave her the opportunity to be more creative, and it made her thankful for the good friends she had who helped her pull the party together indoors.
Profound, yet so simple. What we count as our blessings is all a matter of perspective.
So, though Wednesday it was sunny and warm, a perfect day to sit outside around the fire pit, Thanksgiving Day had turned bitterly cold and rainy, with sleet and snow later in the afternoon. The weather kept my 22 guests locked up in the house with me as I chopped, stirred, slurped, sipped, and washed, and NOT outside enjoying cool, crisp autumn air near the fire pit scented by burning cedar.
But, it also allowed me to enjoy bits and pieces of everyone’s conversation. It kept my sisters and children close by, constantly offering help in the kitchen.
Any time I felt the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving tightening in my back, I looked outside at the first snowfall of the season, even at the sleeting rain and thought to myself, “Thank God for rainy days.” And looking around at the people I loved, I was reminded of all I have to be thankful for.