Sunday, October 11, 2020

A Rain-washed Garden and a Thankful Heart


Sunday evening of Thanksgiving weekend. We traditionally celebrate together as a family on Sunday, leaving Monday for relaxing. This year, because of the pandemic, we planned an outdoor event with appropriate food. Alas, the rains poured down and we moved the celebration indoors, taking precautions. 

We met everyone at the door with a squirt of hand sanitizer. It struck me how quickly the children have become used to this new reality - they automatically held out their hands and rubbed in the sanitizer. We assigned bathrooms to various families and rather than towels, paper towel was available for drying. 

We stuck with our original outdoor menu. There was crab dip and crusty bread, chips and seven-layer dip, and individual bags of chips for starters. The main course consisted of a wonderful roasted sweet potato, roasted brussels sprouts, and spinach salad, and hot dogs. Grilled, not roasted on sticks over a fire. Served on china plates with linen napkins. It was quite the dinner, unlike any Thanksgiving I can remember. For dessert there were pumpkin pie tarts with dollops of whipped cream, and individual jars of cranberry cheesecake. A strange menu for strange times.

I snapped photos of each family group, and then a few impromptu ones. All of the grandchildren are delightful, but Iris is the star of the show, beloved by all. Here she is being read to by her mother. 

At school we are encouraged to have the windows of classrooms open for good air flow (and to wear sweaters). I recently came across the German practice of Luften where windows are opened, even in winter, to air out the house. So midway through our get together I opened doors and windows and let the rain-washed air blow through the house for about 15 minutes. How fresh and lovely it was. 

Later, after everyone had gone home and the house was quiet, I looked out the window. All the rain intensified the green shades in the garden and the quickly ebbing light seemed to call me outdoors. I pulled on some shoes, grabbed my camera and took a few shots of lingering roses, zinnias, and hydrangeas. 

Once indoors again I lit a candle and watched the light slowly fade outside, dulling those brilliant greens. The blurriness of the photo indicates the lack of light. I was reluctant to turn on an indoor light, preferring to stand and watch until darkness fell. It didn't take long.

I have no plans for tomorrow and that's a delightful feeling. Perhaps a walk, perhaps some stitching and reading. A little cooking? We'll see. There's nothing like the blissful satisfaction of a Sunday evening with a Monday holiday.

I'll close with a prayer that my daughter found in her Simply in Season cookbook - it's most appropriate for Thanksgiving.

Delicious Creator God,

I taste your glory in the tangy crunch of a crisp apple,

I taste your glory in salty tears of emotion.

I taste your glory in cool, clear, life-giving water.

I taste your glory in the heavy sweetness of dark chocolate.

Your glory flavors the early peas and new lettuce of spring,

the raspberries and sour cherries of my backyard,

the mealy goodness of new potatoes and butternut squash,

it steeps in my tea and bakes in my peach cobbler. 

For the nibbles and feasts of your glory and for my taste buds,

I give you thanks.


  1. Despite the strangeness of your menu it still sounds like you had a lovely family thanksgiving, one definitely to remember. Beautiful photos especially of your granddaughter. Isn’t the light beautiful at the moment especially at each end of the day. Enjoy your extra day today hopefully with a little sunshine. B x

  2. It was lovely to read about your Thanksgiving, great that it was a real party & gettogether. We must have changed our habits a lot because of this pandemic. Sometimes I take it quite well, other times I miss so badly those activities that are on hold now - museums, friends, family...

    Iris is adorble <3

  3. It is amazing how we adapt when needed. It sounds like your get together was lovely.

  4. Beautiful prayer and dinner
    I pray you have a relaxing day and lots of munchy good food.

  5. Iris looks as though she is so absorbed by the story!
    What an enchanting prayer.

  6. I'm so glad you still gathered together and enjoyed your holiday! Savor today with no schedule! May it be delightful!

  7. Dear Lorrie,
    No doubt this Thanksgiving will be remembered in your family from the very young to the older. I don't think that your menu is strange because it is obvious that everyone had a marvelous time.

  8. I am thrilled you were able to get together and celebrate Thanksgiving. Such a fun menu, been together is all that matters.

  9. A Thanksgiving to remember for sure. You were very flexible which is a good thing. Great idea to have paper towels for the bathrooms. I've been gifting people those packages of paper towlettes. Your desserts looks so pretty and delicious! Glad you could get together and be thankful together! Happy Thanksgiving Day to you.

  10. It's encouraging to see how you all figured out a way to be together and enjoy the tradition of being thankful and eating with family :-)

    The food sounds delicious. Those cranberry cheesecakes are the prettiest!

  11. I'm guessing that this Thanksgiving will be one that is remembered for its uniqueness . sounds like you still had a wonderful time with family. Lovely pictures.

  12. It sounds like it was a lovely day and all worked out perfectly. Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. So nice that you were able to celebrate with family even though it wasn't the traditional gathering. It will surely be memorable for many reasons. I especially like your individual desserts. The expression on Iris' face is so sweet.

  14. What a lovely prayer, it's just perfect for the season of Thanksgiving, I think. I'm glad you were able to adapt to the pandemic restrictions and still celebrate with your family, it's certainly a Thanksgiving you will all remember. I think we are all finding ways to be creative at the moment. Well done - and I think it's a brilliant idea to celebrate on a Sunday so that you can get over it on Monday! Take care. x

  15. Glad you were able to celebrate Thanksgiving with your family. I had a low-key Thanksgiving with my parents. We did the turkey thing on Saturday. Today was supposed to be a lazy holiday Monday for me. But I ended up cleaning up my (tiny) garden (just couldn't stand looking at the dead plants anymore!).

    I'll have to try to remember Luften this winter.

  16. As a former teacher I understand that Sunday evening feeling when you have Monday off.

    Your Thanksgiving sounds wonderful, in spite of the times.

  17. What a wonderful prayer of Thanksgiving. Simple and so descriptive!
    Happy Thanksgiving

  18. It sounds like you had a very Happy Thanksgiving with your family despite the rain and needing to take indoor precautions. Little Iris is certainly very adorable.

    I am not sure what my family will do for our Thanksgiving in November. I contemplated having it outside but we may have snow by that time of the year. A friend suggested we all take the "rapid" test to make sure we were all healthy so we could gather indoors, but that might be hard to coordinate. I guess I'll make the decision as time gets closer.

  19. Dear Lorrie, your post is simply lovely! All of the photos and the prayer at the end make for an wonderful read. Your menu sounded delicious; especially the roasted sweet potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, and the spinach salad. I know I would really enjoy those. We had to postpone our dinner but we all enjoyed the pie and coffee. We hope to get together next Sunday for our meal. Strange times sometimes interfere with our plans. Our little ones truly make the holiday extra special. I'm so happy that your family was able to join you for the holiday! Next on our agenda is Christmas and we all deserve a very merry one this year, don't we?

  20. Oh that poem was lovely!! Your get together will remain so special due to it's being so different. You are one of the few people I know who knows how to have a covid correct get together. We'll be celebrating my husbands birthday at my kids house this Friday with masks and distance and outside. Take care. Kit

  21. Hi Lorrie,

    Wishing you a belated Happy Thanksgiving! Yours sounds very nice and certainly preferable to not gathering with family at all. Little Iris is just darling, and I think I've shared with you before that I love that name for girls! I feel like it's an old-fashioned name that's making a return. Your outdoor photos are very pretty and evocative. I agree that it's wonderful to relax on Sunday evening after a nice celebration, knowing that you don't have to go to work the next day. :)

    I like the poem/prayer that you shared -- very appropriate for Thanksgiving. I hope you have a good week, Lorrie!



  22. I'm sure your family will remember Thanksgiving 2020 as a wonderful, even if it was different, occasion.
    I'm not surprised that little Iris was the star of the day. Little ones tend to be, don't they.

  23. It's a very different kind of year that's for sure. I guess we all have to adapt. We had a ZOOM baby shower for my niece this weekend. She has a high risk pregnancy and with the current situation, everyone felt it was safer. Like your experience, no one really seemed put off, everyone adapted and it turned our to be a lovely day. Glad you were able to celebrate with your family! And thank you for the lovely comment on my site about my curtains. Comments always make me smile.

  24. Lorrie - adaptability is the name of the game these days, and I am pleased for you that you were able to enjoy your family Thanksgiving despite the weather. A beautiful poem, and lovely photos! Enjoy the rest of your week!

  25. Although different during these strange times, I am sure that your Thanksgiving celebration had all of the best elements: precious family, delicious food, and hearts of gratitude for God's gifts. Hope your day for relaxing was all you had anticipated!

  26. Lorrie, a lovely, lovely post. It looks as though you had a perfect Thanksgiving with the most important part, your family. I so enjoyed your ending prayer. Blessings to you and your lovely family. May we see better days ahead.

  27. Lorrie, these are strange times, but it sounds like you handled that situation beautifully. Your menu sounds wonderful! Hope your day-after was as relaxing as you'd hoped.

  28. I'm happy to read about your family Thanksgiving and I love to see families work with the reality and make the best of it. Little Iris reminds me of our Teddy at that age. That cherub face ...

  29. Love the prayer, so descriptive and so how I feel. Iris is a doll! So cute!


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