It seems like the Thanksgiving holiday sometimes has more memories for our family than Christmas does, some sad, some happy, some funny. The second year we were married, we traveled home from Connorsville, WI to Oregon, IL to celebrate with family. We drove back to Connorsville on Saturday, received a phone call that night that my Grandpa Burnett had been killed in a car accident, my Grandma Burnett was in the hospital, (and died several months later), and my Uncle Francis, Aunt Iris and cousin Michal were also injured in the crash. The next day after church, we drove back to Oregon in an ice storm, so we could travel to Ripley Il the next day for the funeral service.
One Thanksgiving we were at Don and Becky Needham’s home in Blanchard, MI. Their son Mike became ill, and Don prayed that God would put his sickness on him, and lift it off of Mike. Sure enough, when it was time for the feast, Don was ill and could not carve the turkey, but Mike felt fine. Becky said, “Why couldn’t you have just prayed for God to heal Mike, and leave it at that?”
Another year, when we lived in Lafayette, IN, Don and Becky and boys were supposed to come to our home for Thanksgiving. We had a huge blizzard and they could not come. Vivian had returned the night before from hunting in WI and did not feel well, so for Thanksgiving dinner, it was my 2 year old son and I, with a huge feast. I remember cooking all the food, (since I had it prepared and in the refrigerator), and sitting at the table, eating and crying.
The first year we lived in Hutchinson, in 2001, my niece Marcee Turner and husband Jason brought my mom Marjorie Bolhous up for Thanksgiving. The weather was in the 60’s, and we so enjoyed their stay. After my mom died in 2005, I was determined to cook all my mom’s special recipes—homemade turkey dressing, pumpkin dessert, etc. I loved using the recipes in her handwriting.
These days we celebrate with our children and grandchildren. We have the traditional meal, along with homemade veggie dip that my daughter-in-law Denise makes, andcaramel apple and pecan pies that my daughter Missy bakes. I always make homemade rolls with a recipe from my mother-in-law Walcie Kirkpatrick. I use bowls and dishes from both of our moms, and feel that brings the memories closer. Most of all, we are just so thankful for a loving and great God who has blessed our marriage, family, and ministry.
© Paula Kirkpatrick, 2014