Friday, November 23, 2007

Post Thanksgiving Day Friday Five

Singing Owl writes: Ah, the day after Thanksgiving--groan! Fortunately, I love Thanksgiving leftovers.

Thanksgiving is the American holiday when the greatest number of people travel somewhere else to celebrate. I am posting this from my son’s home in Minnesota where we are recovering from the food shopping and the preparations and the meal and the clean up. It is difficult to think of anything requiring much energy today, and I am enjoying my sweet baby granddaughter, so I will keep it simple. For those of you not in the USA, I apologize for the nationalistic tone of this Friday Five!

1. Did you go elsewhere for the day, or did you have visitors at your place instead? How was it?
We went to our friends' house a couple of towns away. It was wonderful! We were neighbors at seminary, and getting together over a meal is great fun. With my daughters, their son, and another couple from seminary and their two sons, and three dogs, we had quite the table!

2. Main course: If it was the turkey, the whole turkey, and nothing but the turkey, was it prepared in an unusual way? Or did you throw tradition to the winds and do something different? We had turkey prepared the traditional way, giblets on the side and both stuffing and southern cornbread dressing. Sides were traditional green bean casserole, drunken sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and a broccoli/new potato/hot mustard casserole. Of course there was the gelatinous canned cranberry goop, sweet tea, and rolls to round it out. There was also a platter of lefse, two pumpkin pies, an apple pie, and a pecan pie.

3. Other than the meal, do you have any Thanksgiving customs that you observe every year? For the last two years I have led worship at the local nursing home--mainly because it falls on my regular Thursday and because I enjoy being there.

4. The day after Thanksgiving is considered a major Christmas shopping day by most US retailers. Do you go out bargain hunting and shop ‘till you drop, or do you stay indoors with the blinds closed? Or something in between? I avoid "Black Friday" like the plague! My daughter would prefer otherwise, but today we slept in, watched a movie, and then went to get her learner's permit.

5. Let the HOLIDAY SEASON commence! When will your Christmas decorations go up? If I had my way they'd go up as close to Christmas eve as possible. If my youngest daughter has her way, they'll be up by Sunday night. Hopefully we'll be able to compromise with the middle of December. Otherwise I fear the cat will have too many opportunities to climb the tree and exceed her previous ornament breaking record.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Beginnings and Endings...

It has been a busy fall in this part of North Dakota. The harvest is complete for most folks, and the main activities now include moving cattle, weaning the calves, and cleaning equipment--in short hunkering down for winter's inevitable blast--an ending of sorts. Yes, it's the end of another year's crop, the end of warm weather, the end of the church year, and approaching the end of the calendar year. This season marks not only nature's annual dying but also the conclusion of earthly life for several parishioners and community members. For this small parish it's meant four funerals in four weeks and a full cup of grief for friends and family alike.
Yet time cycles on--we must die to this life to experience the fullness of eternal life. Fall gives way to winter in order for winter to bow to spring. The many Sundays of ordinary time pass so that we may experience the reflection and expectation that comes with Advent. Life. Breath. Rhythm. Our days are numbered and marked by joy, pain, and busyness. As this present year in all its forms and functions now fades away, my wish for you is time to pause and truly live in at least some of the moments of your life.