Over the past few weeks from my back porch in Spring Glen I have watched the geese fly overhead, I have watched the last bright leaves tumble from the fruit trees into the garden, the air has turned crisp, clear and cold. My flower beds now look forlorn, Jack Frost has passed our way with his icy breath searing the blooms.
This is the season I love most. It hasn't always been this way. Growing up in Canada, where Thanksgiving is in celebrated in early October, I never had turkey or dressing as a child. We just didn't celebrate holidays. Maybe it was because most of the time it was just mom and me and she didn't have energy, money or time to spend on holidays or special events. Not knowing about what a special day means I never knew what I was missing. I didn't realize much about Christmas either until I started school and later got to see how other families celebrate the holiday through the screen of the television set.
There may not have been any special meals or gifts in those early years, but I was given many gifts in that little shack on the cold prairies of Saskatchewan. Our home Christmas eve often resembled the manger scene. My mom raised a lot of dairy cows and other farm animals and when the blizzards hit and the snow started piling deep in the corrals and barnyard we often had to bring the new calves and sheep into the porch where they were joined by the puppies and kittens. It was a matter of survival for the newborns. It didn't seem strange to me because that is the way it had always been. The smell of the barnyard blended into the smells of the kitchen and there sitting around the cook stove I would feed the baby calves their warm milk from long-necked coke bottles until they were healthy and strong and could rejoin their mothers.
Advance my life 40 years and today all I have is memories of those early years on the prairie and those days where life resembled the television series "Little House on the Prairie." I am truly thankful for my humble beginnings and from those days I draw my strength today.
As we head into Thanksgiving it begins the six weeks of the holidays. Gratitude swells within me every time I see a situation where love and consideration is extended. Lately there have been so much.
Last Thursday at our Kiwanis meeting I watched a program of pictures of the troops from Carbon and Emery county who are serving in Iraq. Knowing they will be away from their families for the first time brings sadness, but then listening how the community is responding with cards, gifts, and prayers brings me joy. I encourage everyone to think about our soldiers and find ways to send them a card or small gift or support their families. The local National Guard Armory has a list of the troops and their addresses.
This is the season of giving and there is no better way of helping the less fortunate than by participating in the angel tree project or the food bank. So many of the children in our community would go hungry and cold this season without the generous donations.
This is a special time of the year and we have so many blessings. The greatest blessing of all is that we can share our lives with one another. We can give to those who are in need of love and tenderness.It is a season where we can help feed and clothe the hungry and cold, and help others in our town whose hearts are sad. After all it is by giving that we receive, a message I have always heard but only in recent years truly understood.