7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 153)

Seven moments from Thanksgiving that made me feel thankful…

— 1 —

My dad recently fixed an heirloom rocking chair that’s been in our family for generations. We’re pretty sure my grandmother was rocked in it when she was a baby.

When my dad sat down in it to rock the baby yesterday afternoon, it was a special moment to see the tradition begin anew with a fourth generation of babies.

— 2 —

A family friend joined us for the day, and brought cookies that she picked up at one of our favorite places, The Czech Stop (which is well known to people who frequent the stretch of I-35 between Dallas and Austin).

— 3 —

We got a little bit of rain recently after our insane summer drought, and the grass is already starting to come back.

— 4 —

I always smile when I see this note that hangs in my 97-year-old grandfather’s house.

He usually helps me cook for the priests when my turn comes up in the parish meal ministry. He was so touched by our associate pastor’s note of thanks that he printed it and tacked it to the wall in his dining room.

— 5 —

In keeping with family tradition, my grandfather and dad did the turkey and the sides, and my mom made the stuffing. She makes it New England style, with sausage and regular breadcrumbs, which is how they made in where she grew up in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Southern cornbread tends to be more like this.

— 6 —

We remembered loved ones who are no longer with us, like my paternal grandmother (pictured here in one of the many places they lived in Mexico and South America)…

And my grandfather’s parents.

— 7 —

We really wanted a roaring fireplace to perfect the Thanksgiving ambiance, but the weather wasn’t cooperating.

So we cranked up the air conditioner…

…and made it happen anyway. A crackling fire heating up a chilly house, Texas style.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving (or, for those of you outside the U.S., fourth Thursday of November) as well!


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  1. says

    I love old rocking chairs! And I think it hilarious that you turned on the air conditioning so you could use the fireplace. See! You Southerners do miss the seasons we have up North.

  2. says

    Wow, love that pic of your grandma in Mexico…what a tiny waist she had! She looks like such a fashionable lady! So cool, to see finely-dressed women before our generation.

  3. says

    I noticed the fireplace in the first picture and wondered what kind of weather you were having. Now I understand 🙂
    God Bless.

  4. Courageous Grace says

    Oh, Jen, I love the Czech bakeries in West, too. Mmmm, kolaches. I’d stop there every trip to Baylor when I went there.

  5. says

    haha! I tried to talk my husband into the very same “crank-up-the-air-so-we-can-have-a-fire” scheme, but he wouldn’t go for it. If it’s still this hot at Christmas I am totally getting my way!

  6. says

    I love the pic of your dad holding your daughter. I really love traditions, family heirlooms, and old photographs. They give me a sense of belonging and of continuity. Your grandmother was such a beautiful lady!

  7. says

    I saw the picture of the fire in #1 and wondered how you managed it. Your solution was brilliant! I was missing a fire in our 70 degree Louisiana weather. Also, I enjoyed my Southern Thanksgiving except for the “dressing”. Having grown up in New England, I need real stuffing!

  8. says

    I love sausage in the stuffing, and sneaking little bites while cooking. We had very warm weather here too in So Cal– it’s hard to remember it’s nearly winter when the sun’s out. Your determination for a fire is admirable!

  9. Brian says

    I like it that you showed us the picture of your grandparents. They look so handsome and beautiful. It is great that your father decided to fix the rocking chair. I am sure it will last longer and your family can continue the tradition for a very long time.

  10. karen says

    My stop on the interminable err…lovely drive from San Antonio to Dallas is the Collin Street Bakery. Stopping and getting goodies is the one thing I look forward to, other than getting to see my daughter at UD. 😀