We gather together

Last night Lauren and I were staying late at the church waiting for all the fruit basket delivery teams to return. I started playing the piano and eventually she plunked down next to me and we sang all the old Thanksgiving hymns--We Gather Together, Now Thank We All Our God, Come Ye Thankful People Come--her clear soprano with my ole standby alto.

Forgive me if I had a bit of a lump in my throat. And if there was maybe a little moisture in the corners of my eyes. It reminded me so much of the Thanksgivings of my growing up, of assembling with aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents in a bustling, happy, turkey-and-gingerbread scented Victorian grandparents' house. After the dinner (and the naps--just pull up a spot on the floor) we would sing. First the Thanksgiving songs ("Swing the shining sickle...nuts are in the attic, fodder's in the shock") and then by sundown, the Christmas carols came out. [Then (of course) leftovers and kids-find-your-coats-your-shoes we would head to a movie.]

So those moments at the piano lifted my spirits in this rather more sparse Thanksgiving. It's just the five of us this year and it's wonderful* but I also miss all those other beloved faces that I used to laugh with at the long oval table and sing with at the end of the day. This living on the other side of the country thing never feels more distant than during the holidays. Sing a verse of "There's a big fat turkey down at Grandpa's farm" for me.

Sending love.


*today: traditional high school football rivalry game in the morning (Lauren played in the band & Greg cooked breakfast for the band), soccer game with some other families, watching the parade and dog show, lots of great puttering and cooking in the kitchen, dinner coming up in an hour or two, then maybe a bit of singing (please?) and a movie.