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Saturday, November 19, 2016

When The Heart Finds Its Way Home

Every year at this time, I get nostalgic for family and events of the past, especially those involving people now gone. Maybe it's something about the changing from summer to fall, and the end of fall to the cold winter we have to prepare for. We begin to look inward, not outward to outside adventures. We focus more on our homes, the fireplaces and the fires of our own emotions.

I guess it's a great time for curling up with a good book, and for us romance writers, perhaps more than anything, it is OUR TIME. But I've always enjoyed the fall, as I enjoy the first rains, the clouds, the colorful leaves, the need for warm quilts and blankets, when holding hands becomes such a nurturing thing to do this time of year because it is warm.

My grandmother used to make Swedish Tea Ring, and I got my hand slapped when I tried to sneak pinches of the dough. My grandmother on my mother's side had ladies auxiliary teas and special holiday projects. We were a family who participated in choirs so there were rehearsals for the big Christmas season to come, my father would break out his drums to practice. My grandfather, the preacher, wore woolen scarves so his voice would hold up for all the events coming up. His biggest fear was getting a cold since he was such a wonderful orator and commanding presence in the pulpit. My mother was the beautiful soloist who would sing and make people in the audience cry with her high soprano notes reaching Heaven itself.

We'd hear from missionaries coming home for a brief Christmas travel, showing slides of their work in Asia and Africa, Turkey, Russia and parts of Indonesia and Japan. We made cookies for senior homes and my folks and I used to go deliver them. Mrs. Callison, my mother's best friend, made special sandwiches for the men at the Napa County Jail, which was her mission in life.

I remember attending church with Grandma Fox, and all 7 of her purses hanging on her arm. Going up front when Grandpa had the "Call" between the third and fourth stanzas of the closing hymn, that is, if no one else did, because it broke my heart not to have someone go up front. I tell people I've lived such a charmed life because I've been saved so many times, I've lost count.

I remember my little brother singing Christmas Carols during Thanksgiving - things he'd learned in school or Sunday school. I'd often fall asleep hearing him sing "binkle bells" to the night.

Thanksgiving is that one last deep breath we take in before the Christmas season descends upon all of us, all the mad rushing around, overspending, and going unconscious from coffee, sugar, alcohol and keeping up with everyone else. A mass hysteria and blindness descends on us all. But for the week of Thanksgiving, we just relax, meet with our family and friends, overeat, sleep a little more, stay warm and get ready.

We used to invite Stanford students to our Thanksgiving table. I remember Laly from Turkey. Bobo from France, and several others from India, Japan and China. It wasn't anything special, except sharing a meal in a traditional American way, with students who were far from their families back at home.

Thanksgiving is a decent time. A time of reflection. We have a lot to be grateful for, thankful for. We lay down another year of tradition, warmth and love. We make our homes sparkle and we allow our hearts to be renewed. Because the magic of the Thanksgiving season is that in giving thanks, we are healed. We don't have to be a perfect country or people. We just have to remember to be thankful for what we have and not regret what we don't.

Simple concept and yet, it could change the world. Imagine if all the people...well, you know the rest of the song, don't you?

Sharon Hamilton
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.


Melissa Keir said...

So many wonderful memories. Your post reminded me of those times at church listening to the women singing and getting ready for the Christmas service. I miss my family during this time of year.

Terry Leary said...

Beautiful and poignantly spoken Sharon!

Nicole Morgan said...

What a beautiful post, Sharon!

jean hart stewart said...

A lovely post, and one all of us should appreciate. Thanks, Sharon....

sandiegrise said...

Beautiful and sentimental

Sharon Hamilton said...

Thank you everyone!! Happy Thanksgiving to all. Terry, so special to see you here!!! Thanks so much!

J.D. Hart said...

Beautifully spoken. Thank you for sharing my princess. Happy thanksgiving to you and your family. So thankful for you!

Sharon Hamilton said...

JD, so special and thankful for you as well, my prince. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Cherokee, the pups and your family. May it be warm and full of love!

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