Jocie Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky on the day before Thanksgiving. Don’t you just love Thanksgiving? I do. And it’s going to be especially good this year because everybody’s coming to Miss Sally’s for dinner. Miss Sally is the best cook ever. People nearly come to blows over the last pieces of her pies at church dinners. And she makes the best mashed potatoes ever. The very best.
She told us a month ago that she wanted us to come to Thanksgiving dinner. She invited Wes too and the Hearndons. It’s going to be a full house, but Miss Sally says a full house is a good thing. Most of the time it’s just her in the new little house she built out on her farm after her other house burned down. She misses her big old farm house but she says wall to wall people will be a good thing. She’s borrowed some card tables and had Dad bring her some of the Sunday school chairs from church. Folks are bringing food too. We made sweet potatoes and green beans. The Hearndons are bringing baked apples and an applesauce cake. Wes is bringing potato chips. I’m all for that!!
I’m out here at Miss Sally’s tonight spending the night so I’ll be able to help her with fixing everything else in the morning. But I think she’s got a lot of it fixed already. You should see her refrigerator. It’s stacked full to the brim.
Anyway, after we cleaned up the kitchen, Miss Sally fixed us some hot apple cider and we sat down at the table to sample some of her oatmeal cookies and talk about Thanksgiving. You remember my last post I was reporting on what people in Hollyhill are thankful for. School sort of got in the way of me finishing up on that project. Teachers will give tests and I do want to get good grades. So I have to study.
But now school’s out until Monday. So I asked Miss Sally what she’s thankful for. She looked straight at me and asked how long I had to listen because she had a lot of reasons for thanksgiving. I told her I had plenty of time, that I never liked to go to bed early anyway. So she took a drink of her apple cider and began.
“Oh child, it’s hard to count all of my blessings, but they started out with parents who loved me. I’m thankful for living on a farm where I could be close to nature. I do love my flowers and trees and the birds and animals. I never married, you know, so while that was a sorrow for me when I was younger, the Lord took care of me and my desire for children in a different way. He gave me so many sweet children at church. I can’t even begin to count all the children I’ve loved over the years. I’ve been able to share the Bible stories with so many fresh young faces. So of course, I have to number my church right there in the very top of my blessings. The Lord gives us so many different kinds of families. Our brothers and sisters by blood and our brothers and sisters through Christ. Then there’s the blessing of belief and faith that’s like a warm cloak on a winter day. Something I can wrap up in and feel the Lord’s love all around me.”
Miss Sally smiled and reached over to touch the Bible on her table. “And the Lord’s Word is always a blessing and a source of company and comfort any time I open up my Bible. Then I can’t forget the everyday blessings of good food. A warm house. My cat, Josephine. Stars in the sky. The first roses in the spring. The crisp promise of winter in an early morning frost. A blanket of snow. The sunshine that melts that snow. Electricity. I remember well when we had nothing but kerosene lamps for light at night. I am thankful for good preachers like your father. And sweet preacher’s daughters like you.”
She reached over and patted my hand. Sometimes you just know when somebody loves you the way you are. They don’t want you to change or be different. They just love you however you are. That’s how Miss Sally loves. Easy with no conditions. I guess that’s why we all love Miss Sally right back.
“I could go on and on,” Miss Sally said. “But it’s getting late and we need to get an early start in the morning to get everything done. So we better go to bed and finish counting our blessings there. That’s always the best way to go to sleep.”
And so I’m going to do that just as soon as I finish writing this. Good night and I hope you have the best Thanksgiving ever.