This is a different kind of thankfulness.
The kind that looks at blessings past and present, grabs hold of heartstrings and translates the emotional gobeldy gook into a promise for the future.
I’m thankful for knotted oak tables with sticky syrup spots. Ones marked with scratches from the time the dog climbed up and licked all the frosting off the yule log cake. The kind that turned into forts on rainy Saturdays. Those tables.
And I’m thankful for the future table, too. The table that will be nicked with its own stories. The one that will be covered in dishes and dirty silverware and stained napkins that say, “Man, that meal was good.”
I’m thankful for well-worn chairs. The kind that sink a little too low when you sit in them. The chair with a leg that’s a bit lose after that time Dad stood on its tiny frame to replace the chandelier. Those chairs.
And I’m thankful for the chairs to come, too. The chairs that will be filled with people of all ages – toddlers to teens to the over-the-hill, wisdom-soaked folks, too. The type of chair that you won’t want to get out of, even after three hours of eating and talking, because in some crazy, illogical way, that chair has morphed into a place that feels like home.
I’m thankful for plates. For mugs and bowls and most importantly, spoons. For the hodgepodge collection of spoons gathered over the years – the one that wandered over after sharing a bowl of ice cream with your neighbors, and the others that trickled in after picnics and potlucks. Those spoons.
And I’m thankful for the dishes and spoons that I know will be there someday. The ones that will ladle batches of stew into bowls for a Friday night dinner party. Those that will cradle chicken soup after a long, exhausting day. The miniature ones that I will use with my children, eating small bites of sundaes to make them last forever.
I am thankful for Thanksgiving, that we have a day dedicated to gathering around the table – to eat and praise and pray.
But I am also thankful that this is a place, an act and sign of love that we are welcome to enter into every day. Even when it seems we don’t have much, when we have a table, a few chairs and a spoon to share soup, we realize we have more than we could have ever asked for.