I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday, wherever you are. We spent the day with Mrs. Yeoman Farmer’s brother and his family, in the Detroit suburbs. They grilled one of our turkeys, which we’d taken over a couple of weekends ago. It was fantastic, as was the rest of the feast they put together.
The best part, by far, was spending a relaxing day hanging out with family. But in so enjoying our time together with them, it was hard not to think back on the contrast with the way we spent last year’s Thanksgiving day. It was the only TG we’ve spent away from family in a long time, but it was also one of the most memorable and one that we may be especially grateful for for many years.
Last November, we were literally a thousand miles away from home. Yeoman Farm Baby had just been born, and we’d been staying in an extended stay type of hotel in that city with him and all the kids. Mrs. Yeoman Farmer had continued homeschooling the older ones, which after so many days in small and unfamiliar surroundings was getting old fast. It was all we could do to get them out to run around at various parks and playgrounds every afternoon. We were eager and anxious to get home, but we were legally not allowed to leave the state with him before we got formal written permission from both YFB’s state of birth and our state of residence. Given the impending Thanksgiving holiday, lots of staff at the courts and other bureaus were out on vacation. Our legal process ground to a crawl, and we (only half jokingly) began to wonder if we’d make it home by Christmas.
And then came the invitation we’ll never forget. MYF had managed to meet several other Catholic homeschooling families in the area; she’s a natural extrovert, and seems capable of making friends no matter where she goes or how long she’s staying in a place. Once everyone realized we were going to be stuck so far from home thru at least the first of December, we got not one but two different invitations for Thanksgiving dinners. One was very far away, but the other was just a few miles from our hotel. We accepted the more local invitation, and had an absolutely wonderful afternoon and evening together with that family — and their extended family.
Particularly moving was the effort our hostess made to accommodate the YFCs’ food allergies. She basically ended up cooking two Thanksgiving dinners: one that our kids could eat, and the other for everyone else to eat. We did contribute one of our turkeys, and tried to help with food preparation and cleanup as much as we could, but having a newborn made that complicated. Their generosity was incredibly moving; they’d only known us for a short while, but went to unbelievable lengths to welcome us into their home and family while we were so far from our own.
We’ve stayed in touch with our host family, and even some members of their extended family, in the year since. I want them, and all of you, to know how grateful we remain for the time when we were strangers and were welcomed. We have lots of other things that we’re grateful for this Thanksgiving, of course, and I’ll try to mention some of them in upcoming posts. But that particular incident from last year has been on my mind, and I wanted to make sure I shared it first.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.