There’s just something about spending Thanksgiving in North Carolina.
It’s an excitement that’s enveloped me since I was a kiddo, remembering that serious itch of travel excitement at the thought of going to “Uncle Mark & Aunt Vickie’s house” to celebrate one of the best holidays! That feeling returned this year as we packed our duffle bags for the seven hour trip, I can’t put my finger on exactly why it did and still does have a happy-dance-feeling for me, but I think it has something to do with thought of dear friends and family on the other side of those mountains! North Carolina beauty too has always been a spoonful of the happiness, similar to home but different enough that beckons an exploration!
So, it was with very happy hearts that we began our journey at 5:30am Thanksgiving morning!
For once it wasn’t hard for this certain night owl to awake, the cause because excitement awaited outside of the covers.
I had to laugh at myself as we headed out of Nashville realizing how very few times I have gazed at the beauty of a sunrise, all that beauty that comes up and I normally miss it due to snoring (I speak figuratively of course). It was a grand to experience it again, and maaaay have tempted me to greet more of them!
May I just say spending Thanksgiving with friends is one of the happiest things to experience? Honestly words just can’t describe the absolute gratefulness I felt as we all set around the table laughing, talking, eating, sharing and just enjoying being together! I was reminded yet again what blessings the Lord has given us, what gifts he plants in our everyday lives that appear so ordinary but when seen in greater light, are everything but that. This is what Thanksgiving is about, reflecting on those things and and not just reflecting but glorifying the Lord from whom all blessings flow!
24 hours isn’t long enough when spending it with dear friends, but somehow we managed to fill every minute to the brim with memories! So thankful for this amazing time!
This trip seemed the king of short & sweet, after hugging good-byes to friends, we headed towards the embrace of family two hours away for another 24 hour stop! It had been over a year since all family on Dad’s side had been reunited (since my grandmother’s passing on a year ago August) so it was with much laughter and joy that we all touched base! (we all had a good laugh about the rounds and rounds of hugs, with 19 people it can take a while!)
Playing numerous games, catching up on each other’s lives, reminiscing old memories and mishaps, retaking the family photos and being amazed at the change that’s taken place. . . special beyond end!
Good-byes. They’re hard. I much prefer hello’s. But it’s a realization and reminder that good times and get-togethers can’t be a steady diet, or they wouldn’t be unique and exciting, they would become ordinary.
That is the true beauty of wonderful relationships with family and friends, it’s that you can come together (even if it’s only for a couple dozen hours) have a blast, have a hard time saying goodbye, but move on and look forward to the next reunion!
Even though the visits were quick, they were wonderful! Jam packed with more memories for the banks and gave me much to reflect on with thankfulness on the way to our last stop.
As the season of Thanksgiving unfolds and meshes into the glorious season of joy and giving, our last stop was Asheville and then on to Clyde, North Carolina for our favorite christmas tree farm! As a mental note, if you find a hole-in-the-wall place kinda by accident and end up loving it. . . please make sure to document it well! Such was not the case with this little farm we stopped at last Thanksgiving. When trip planning came around this year we had a humdinger of a time trying to find this place, eventually, when we had almost given up, google maps came to the rescue. It’s now well documented in a numerous safe places; address, location, and phone number, plus a business card in everyone’s wallets.
After much discussion as to which tree was “the one” we finally all agreed and got it loaded up. Hands smelling of fresh fraiser fir, I snapped a few photos of just the glory of North Carolina pre/winter beauty.
Our trek home was a soggy one, our windshield wipers didn’t rest the whole way back and our tree got enough water to last it a good long while! My family all reflected on how quiet I was on the way home. . . I laughed, not realizing I hadn’t said more than a few sentences put together every hour or so.
Home-going usually produces such an outcome for me, I love thinking about the time spent, the memories collected, and especially this trip, just reflecting with thankfulness.
Thanksgiving. It’s more than just a day, it’s a lifestyle. It’s a way of living each and everyday with praise to the Lord and recognition of His goodness. From thanksgiving stems an indescribable joy!
Let us keep this spirit of thanksgiving ever present and near us as we move into the beautiful season of joy and giving that characterizes December!
It was a wonderful way to spend such a beautiful holiday, I am left with the faithful remembrance of the time and smile whenever I think of the memories!
Aren’t times like this the best?
>>> a b b y