‘Tis the Gift to Be Simple, ‘tis the Gift to be Free”
I’m not a big fan of the Shaker lifestyle. Enforced celibacy, communal living, gender segregation, and plain, stripped-down houses and clothes aren’t exactly my idea of fun, but I appreciate the Shakers’ efforts to live more simply as stated in the Shaker hymn in the title. That part is inspiring. However, I don’t apologize for being in to fashion, and holiday decorating is practically a sacrament for me.
Thanksgiving was simpler this year -- just the five of us in our humble home. Tim and I cooked our buns off and involved the boys in preparing each of the side dishes.
For an assignment in his culinary arts class, Matthew was tasked with making one dish and bringing in the recipe, so I put him to work making mashed potatoes.
Nicholas, my foodie who truly loves cooking, helped prepare the cranberry apple relish.
Wesley put all the ingredients in the bread maker for fresh wheat bread.
Tim roasted a beef brisket! As all of us were a bit "turkey'd out", we decided it was a good year for eating outside the box.
I did a little of this, a little of that, making sure it all came together.
As the weather was unseasonably warm, we ate out on the deck in the sun.
So much to be thankful for.
Matthew read the first proclamation of the pilgrims written in 1676 -- one big, long run-on sentence in old English.
Had not those people braved the elements and suffered sickness and hunger (and probably some despair), we mightn't be here today. They knew sorrows as well as joys. I know them too and can't always reconcile the two. One day at a time.
One day at a time. "Now thank we all our God...with hearts and hands and voices..."