November 19-23, 1970
The weekend before Thanksgiving, Nate and I hosted a party for our Sunday school class. We cleaned, grocery-shopped, put a party menu together, and readied for our first “big” company.
I pulled out a couple of my wedding-gift cook books and told Nate I would make an attempt at some interesting recipes. Thankfully it wasn’t a dinner but just dessert.
After baking two cakes, one a “wine cake” and the other plain, I made a raspberry sauce to drizzle over the plain one. If it seemed strange, we could always smother it with whipping cream from the squirt-can.
Of course we bought chips, dips, soft drinks, and even a little wine, though we weren’t sure what Pastor Ralph would think of that.
As we prepared, John and Cathy seemed interested, so we invited them to join us, hoping they might one day attend our lively Sunday school class, too.
All 20 guests threw themselves into a game of charades, and laughs were plentiful. We continued till 1:00 AM – despite the next day being a Monday. John and Cathy were the last to leave, close to 2:00 AM.
Teaching was a challenge the next day after such a short night, because the children and I were preparing for an open house before the Thanksgiving break.
To accompany our unit on American Indians, we were building a six-seater canoe… and a full-sized tee pee! I wondered what ever possessed me to agree to such extreme projects — probably the enthusiasm of some adorable 5-year-olds.
Arriving home to Nate’s loving welcome made everything better, though, and he suggested we nap together before dinner. Two hours later, the world looked brighter, and we were energized to make it through a long evening.
Nate went back to his books, and I wrote the November newsletter for my classroom parents. Many had said they appreciated the monthly communiqué about what their children were doing in school (below) and felt like they were part of the team. My real goal was to let them know how much I loved each of their kids.
Open house went well, and the next day was our party send-off to the Thanksgiving weekend. Usually it made me sad not to see them for four days straight, but not this time. My mind was racing with Thanksgiving preparations.
That evening, our family would arrive for 24 hours, and there was much to do. A year earlier we’d eaten Thanksgiving dinner as unmarried singles two days from our wedding. This year we would be hosting as a couple – and it felt great.
Mom and Dad would be bringing brother Tom and three aunties. Mary, Bervin, and baby Luke would come the next morning. And we invited our Danville friends Rick and Barbara (left), who had no local family and no Thanksgiving plans.
Finding beds for our four older relatives would be a logical challenge, but we were glad they wanted to come at all. It would be a holiday to remember!
“How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters [and families] get along!” (Psalm 133:1 The Message)