The Best First


We all have those special holidays or events that our firsts.  But when they combine, the outcome can be magic. This year was a very special Thanksgiving for me. It was the first time that I hosted the family for the big day, and it was the first time in many ears that both my parents were healthy and could celebrate without hesitation.

I worked all week on getting the house ready – everything clean and neat, but just messy enough that Mom had a few things to do and felt useful. Many blankets on Dad’s bed and a heater just for his room so he is nice and warm and toasty. The smoking area in the garage, complete with the couch and back patio chairs, heaters and throw blankets. Plenty of firewood, towels, bed linens and snacks. And the carpet cleaned and looking good (thanks to my wonderful boyfriend).

And then it was time.  Mom and Dad arrived with hugs and kisses and coffee and smiles. Then later it was a hot dinner and cold wine. The next morning, my sister came with her two boys. And the cooking was on.  All of us Burch women in the kitchen, slicing, dicing, mixing and drinking wine and snacking on cheese and crackers.  It was a mess but it was fun.  And wonderful.  That kitchen was filled with so much love. And food – there was Mom’s stuffing recipe, and the secret broccoli and cheese casserole, then the turkey, and…

And then it was time to eat – a few hours past when I originally thought, but that just meant everyone was extra hungry.  We pulled my two tables together for a shabby chic, Hodge-podge Thanksgiving dinner. A prayer was said and then we all ate.  And laughed, and talked and drank and there was happy murmur and conversation.  And as I sat there, looking around at my family in my little home, at my little two tables, I was so very grateful. Another year with them, my family, where everyone is healthy and happy.  And as my heart beat, it swelled with such happiness and contentment that I was ready to pop.

And that is the thing about life, it doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.  I have a small home in a small but nice neighborhood.  Mismatched glasses lined the two tables pushed together and mismatched place mats were under that plates. And no one cared. Because those ancillary things are just that. It’s the imperfections that make those moments and events great. Love makes the imperfections beautiful. .  It was perfect. And amazing. And wonderful. The best first Thanksgiving ever.

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