Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

November 22, 2013

Cranky Pilgrims, small towns and pass the blessings

By Deanna Kirk
Corsicana Daily Sun

— We attended our first grandchild program on Friday at Westminster Presbyterian Early Childhood Academy. Let me just say there were four grandparents and two parents in our row bursting with pride in one tall little Pilgrim.

I’ve never seen so many iPhones, iPads, and various other big honking tablet-looking things used to record the program for posterity. I felt like a quarterback ducking and dodging the entire time, trying to keep one good eye on my grandson.

Yes, while the rest of America was honoring the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death (which I don’t remember due to my not being born yet), we were watching a darling little girl Pilgrim slowly walk down the aisle at Westminster saying loudly, “I don’t wanna. I don’t wanna. I want my Mama.”

It’s funny how attending a program at your grandkid’s school can be a veritable Who’s Who. I spotted one very handsome young Indian brave on the back row, whose grandfather I dated once upon a time. And his mother, my son-in-law’s first wife, was there too. Great to see all their family. Gotta love small-town living.

They performed several musical selections, accompanied (and led) by Ron Motley on the guitar (he is SO good with those kids), and then welcomed the “turkeys,” the youngest wee ones, who were mostly carried in by their big people wearing their turkey feather shirts and headdresses.

The big finale was a verse of “Jesus Loves Me.” I tried not to be distracted by the one boy who turned around and bent over, then hitched up his britches with his backside pointing our way. Even the little unhappy girl finally gave up wanting her Mama and joined in the singing.

We were all fed a lovely meal of fried chicken with all the trimmings and homemade desserts. It was a lovely, special “first” for us. Meagan Gould and her staff at Westminster ECA do a fantastic job, especially to be in its first year as a five-day-per-week school. Donna Ralston and her folks in the kitchen worked hard and fed at least 120 people, according to Motley.

It almost feels to me like Thanksgiving has been somewhat overlooked this year, with Christmas coming out in stories in October, and yuletide TV commercials airing for weeks now. I for one love Thanksgiving. In our family, everyone makes dishes and we all converge on one home or another, so it’s not glaringingly apparent that any one person can’t cook worth a flip. There’s none of that gift pressure; you know, you open a gift from someone else who obviously spent so much more on you, then cringe while waiting for them to open theirs ...? Who hasn’t been there?

But Thanksgiving has none of that. And it usually has pumpkin pie.

My Grandma Neva used to make a salad every year that was a blue-green shade, had presumably some jell-o, nuts, cottage cheese, pineapple, and Lord only knows what else. She called it Watergate Salad. What on earth does that mean? Gosh, I miss her.

As we prepare to gather with our family and friends, and give thanks to the good Lord for all that He’s given us, however undeserved, remember those who have lost loved ones and are grieving this Thanksgiving. Remember those who are lonely and don’t have a big family to envelop them at the holidays. Remember those who are ill, or suffer from addictions.

I’m so grateful for my many, many blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

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Deanna Kirk is a Daily Sun staff writer and editor of Explore magazine. She may be reached via email at dkirk@corsicanadailysun.com.