This fall, Bunny and I participated in several outstanding celebrations. As a rule, Americans focus on being thankful primarily during the Thanksgiving season, but truly we should be thankful every day as we celebrate life.
Our fall celebrations began with Sara Jane’s wedding in Hickory, North Carolina. Sara Jane, our niece, and David were married in her church, Corinth, Reformed United Church of Christ. The church, one of my favorites, is built of stone and the sanctuary has exquisite stain glass and beautiful dark wood. The wedding was perfect and the bride was giddy with happiness. The reception followed at the Lake Hickory Country Club, a lovely setting, with the mountains in the distance. However, my best recollection of the day is the fun we had at this grand gathering. From the youngest to the oldest, the time together was a great family celebration. In fact, Lizzy danced so much that the band finally thanked the little girl in the polka-dotted dress for her participation. Bunny and I are very thankful for Sara Jane’s happiness and for this family celebration.
The following weekend our family celebrated my sister Melanie’s birthday at the beach. On Saturday, Momma, Cathy, Melanie, and I left everyone at the beach house and spent the entire day shopping and just being together. We had a delightful lunch at a nice restaurant and shopped till we could shop no more. It has been years since the four of us spent the entire day together just for fun. We had a good time and were thankful for the day together.
Weekend number three was a trip to Edisto to help our friends, Connie and Steve, with their son’s wedding. Robbs and Melinda wanted their wedding on the beach with the reception at Connie’s house. This wedding was quite different from Sara Jane’s but just as special. Dress was casual and shoes were optional on the beach. During the actual wedding while the bride was saying her vows, a gust of wind blew her veil off. However, Melinda never faltered; she grabbed the veil, handed it to her sister and never missed a word. She was determined to finish her vows! Afterwards at the house, the fun, casual festivities were the perfect celebration for the happy couple. Bunny and I were thankful to be a part of Robbs’ wedding.
The following weekend Bunny and I headed to Ellijay, Georgia to celebrate birthdays and retirements with our Clemson friends. Cell phones made it easy to communicate with everyone traveling from different directions as we arranged to meet at the Montaluce Winery near Dahlonega for lunch. My friends were enjoying the beautiful view and the fruit of the vine by the time we reached our first destination. After a delicious meal we headed towards our cabin in Ellijay. Actually the cabin was no cabin at all; rather, it was a three story designer house with five bedrooms, six baths, three sitting areas, and a beautiful mountain view. The porch next to the kitchen even had a fireplace and was where we spent much of our time. During our visit we celebrated three notable birthdays and one long awaited retirement. It was a special time with good friends in a very fashionable setting. I am so thankful our friends from around the state continue to make time to celebrate important life events.
This past Saturday my family celebrated my daddy’s 90th birthday with a party that was well attended by family and friends. Daddy was truly humbled and happy by the many people that honored him with their presence. Jim and Vanessa traveled 14 hours from Virginia and back home in the same day just to be a part of the birthday gala. After the party, momma and daddy enjoyed the many birthday cards and personal notes brought by party goers. Daddy was appreciative of the kind words. It was a perfect day for a celebration and I am thankful we could commemorate this special time.
Many years ago when I was a child, I asked daddy what he thought the future would be. Of course he could not predict computers, cell phones, and the other gadgets we have today so this was how he responded: “I am not sure what the future will be like, but one thing I am certain of, is that many people who are here today will no longer be around.” He was right.
There are innumerable people who were living at that time that are no longer alive. But, what he failed to say was that there would be babies born in the future who would bring joy as they become part of the life cycle. So the lesson I learned is that we may not know the future, but we can live our lives being thankful for those near and dear to us, and we can celebrate life everyday by enjoying our time together.