I do not recall a Thanksgiving memory before these Thanksgiving memories, although I’m sure my family always observed Thanksgiving. Raised in a Christian home it was not always perfect but we did always give thanks to God who deserves all our thanks and praise.
The memories of thanksgiving that I remember as my first actually occurred when I was nine years of age. This particular time in our lives, we were dirt poor. My Dad was going to college and mom was just trying to keep things going at home.
I remember my mom setting up a big long table she borrowed I believe from the church and some fold up chairs. This filled up the entire length of our living room which was right next door to the kitchen.
Living away from all of our extended family, my parents were always opening up their home to friends and other folks who did not have family either, because they too were away at college.
The big day arrived and people I never met before, and some that were my parents friends, piled into our small home and filled it up with just the best feeling ever.
I being a child, was most interested in the food. I had nervously awaited the day and now it was here. Everyone sat down to eat but paused first and became quiet. Thoughtful gazes were on the faces of these strange grown ups. My Dad spoke and then nods of agreement was seen around the table as words of thankfulness abounded.
Famished but in amazement at the scene, I watched and listened as they prayed to the Lord God above and thanked him for this food, which was the best, and all the sum that the group could conjure up for this meal, as we all were all needy. The tone was of great thankfulness and worship.
I remember a lump in my throat when the prayers were completed, and then the exhilaration of “food” was what next entered my young mind.
I soon became enamored with this can of food someone brought that I had never seen before. My mother sent me to the kitchen to open it, and I was quite intrigued as to whether or not I would like this strange food.
This strange food was ripe black olives. Yes, that sounds funny now, but this was the day I was introduced to black olives, and to this day, they are a must at our Thanksgiving dinners.
I will never forget these Thanksgiving memories, as they are filled with thankfulness, laughter, and the way my parents shared and outreached to feed those in need. Although our family was needy too, it didn’t seem that way on this day. Our cup ran over as God filled us up with the company of mostly strangers, and the most wonderful memories of Thanksgiving were made that day in the mind of a nine year old girl.