Saturday, November 26, 2005

I had a nice Thanksgiving.

The whole week started so nicely; Mrs. Carlberg was the chapel speaker and talked about having thankful hearts, and the first thing she spoke about as a means of expressing our thanks to Jesus was... music! She also talked about working for justice and mercy on the earth, for others, when we are so thankful for all that we have already for ourselves. Then she told the most wonderful story about her mother when she was a young girl.

Her mother is Norwegian (Mrs. Carlberg tells family stories in the most wonderful accent!), and when her family had just moved to Canada when she was a little girl, they were poor and her father was away on a missions journey. Christmas was coming, and this young girl couldn't find very much to be thankful for. Each day, for breakfast, dinner, and supper, they had oatmeal. The house didn't even smell like Christmas, and there wouldn't be any presents. As Christmas Eve supper time arrived, the mother asked her children (there were seven or eight of them) to set the table with the best dishes. Then, on top of those dishes, they set out the old bowls for the oatmeal. The girl was sad and feeling most decidedly unthankful, but her mother said, "children, gather round and we'll thank Jesus for all that we have." She prayed, "Jesus, thank you for all the wonderful blessings you give us. My beautiful children, our family, our home. We trust that you will keep Papa safe and bring Him back to us soon..." As the mother was praying, the girl was watching her face to see if she really looked thankful... and she truly did! Even for just oatmeal! And just then, they heard the sound of Christmas carols outside the door! They went to the door, and members of a nearby church had brought Christmas dinner for the whole family!! Away went the oatmeal bowls, and the plates were filled with delicious food. Before they sat down to eat, the mother said, "we were thanking God when this food arrived, and we'll finish thanking Him now." Again, the girl kept her eyes open, this time thinking that her mother would look far more thankful now than before... but there was no change at all. I liked this story... what amazing gratitude and trust and faith and... it was just wonderful; it made me cry. I can't do the story justice at all as Mrs. Carlberg did, but I wanted to share it as best I could because it's so wonderful. I like hearing Mrs. Carlberg tell stories. All these various women with their theology degrees and such come and speak to us all the time in chapel, but here is a wife and mother with an amazing family history and life story, and a gift for telling those stories exquisitely. She's the best.

That night was a busy one; I played background music with Melissa and Erin at the faculty/staff Thanksgiving party for a bit, then ran over to Phillips to play the Brahms Horn Trio with Katharine and Nathan in the chamber music gala, then ran back to Lane to play with the thankgiving hymns at the dinner party again. Mrs. Carlberg had asked me to play with Nathan, and it was a lot of fun. Nathan wrote me lovely parts to play along with each verse. It all went well. The Brahms went well too... I love playing that piece!

Tuesday FavoriteBoy and I left for his house in Pennsylvania, where we spent Thanksgiving. We had a lovely drive there, even though we didn't arrive until 3 am! We listened to Christmas carols (premature, I know!) and sang along and talked and relaxed and listened to the soundtrack of Mary Poppins and sang along with that too and it was lovely. For some reason, I just love long drives with FavoriteBoy. It is just so comfy and cozy, especially with the snow falling against the windshield.

Thanksgiving was nice and FavoriteBoy's family was welcoming and kind and the dinner was delicious.

We went to his church to practice in solitude a few different times. The organ there is amazing! FavoriteBoy's dad showed me the pipes and they are incredible! It's a huge area you'd never even know was there, with so many different kinds of pipes. I was very impressed and hearing the organ there was awe-inspiring. It's a beautiful, beautiful church.

We arrived back at Gordon tonight, and tomorrow after church I'll have to crack down hard on practicing and Latin-ing and such, but I'm so thankful for the time of Thanksgiving; even though I had a lot of homework and practicing to do over the break, it was still far more relaxing than normal school time, and I really needed that little break.

Yay Thanksgiving... and yay again, because tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent!

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