Today’s first was about what didn’t happen! For the first time, a small but cheerful group of us, family and friends, ate Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant….Golden Corral in Joplin. Which meant, I didn’t cook today and even better, I didn’t clean up a destroyed kitchen either! I really don’t mind cooking big dinners, especially for family gatherings around the holidays. It was nice, though, this afternoon, to leave the restaurant and not face a mountain of dirty pots, pans and dishes. I actually got to take a wee nap instead, and that was sweet indeed.
My police officer son was on duty today. He and fellow officers had a potluck dinner at the police station and his lovely bride Megan joined him there for dinner. Daughter Elissa spent the day with her fiancé Josh and his family. Tomorrow is a big day for them! With the family dynamics changed, I opted for dinner out. I knew Golden Corral would be open and their buffet would not only have all the traditional fare but many other entrees and sides to choose from.
Our little gathering today included my mom and stepdad, my sister Linda, daughter Adriel, her friend Nate, Greg and Dave. This year I invited others who might want to hang out with us, if they didn’t have any place else to be. Most had somewhere to go, but the invitation went out and everyone was free to join in or not….no obligation! Dave is the awesome Zumba instructor for my mom and me. Over this year he has become a friend and now, he’s practically family. After spending a boisterous couple of hours with us, he knows stuff! He was a welcome addition, as was Nate.
I found it fun to be at Golden Corral. I knew it must be an okay place to be when I arrived at 10:45 am and there were lines out both sets of doors. Because our group stood in line together and passed the time chatting and laughing, it didn’t seem to take long before we were being seated. The restaurant was full. It could be said that I had lunch with hundreds of strangers, yet it was a festive atmosphere. I spoke to people in the buffet lines and smiled and discussed the marvelous selection of food. At our table, our group laughed a great deal. Dave and Nate learned some of our family stories and shared some of their own, and discovered that my mom loves Golden Corral fudge!
It was a great day. Gratitude is so important to me. Thanksgiving is a wonderful day to be reminded of all that I have to be thankful for, and yet I daily choose to make thankfulness the foundation for everything else in my life. It is so much more than living with the “glass half full”, it is an awareness that gratitude for what I have makes what I do have, enough. And it opens the door to so many other wonderful possibilities and opportunities.
One of my favorite quotes is by John Milton and it says, “Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” I love that. I desire that my heart be so full of gratitude that it can’t be contained, flowing upward, to my Source, the Creator of all, and outward, touching everything and everyone in my world. So be it.