Handprint turkeys take her back

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Spread the fingers wide and press the hand firmly into a sheet of white paper. Then take a pencil and carefully trace around the outside of the fingers. Lift the hand and at the bottom of the shape, draw two lines to make legs.

Then add two eyes inside the top of the thumbprint. Next, add a triangle at the end of the thumb to make a beak. At the base of the triangle/beak, add an oval shape, creating a wattle for your Thanksgiving turkey. Now comes the fun, get creative with a box of crayons and color the finger shapes to make them look like feathers.

I actually drew one of these turkeys before I wrote a single word of this column. So how many of you remember this little creative exercise from elementary school. How many of you will, right now, grab a sheet of paper and draw yourself a hand turkey?

Come on try it. I guarantee you will smile before you finish, and maybe feel a little stirring of the child who once loved the smell of crayons on a cool November morning.

I revisited turkey drawing in an attempt to return to the spirit of Thanksgiving past. You know that time long ago before Thanksgiving became Black Friday Eve.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and one that holds wonderful memories of times spent with family, many of them no longer here to celebrate. It was a day full of visiting with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins (and sometimes older cousins’ boyfriends or girlfriends). Oh and the food, the amazing food that took hours to prepare filled the air with a fragrance that is surely how love smells.

The table that now sits in my dining room once sat in my grandmother’s house. On Thanksgiving Day, Daddy sat at the head of that table and before blessing our feast, he read from the family Bible, the 100th Psalm. I knew it by heart because we memorized it in school as part of our English lesson.

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all you lands!

Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.

Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.

I especially liked the first line, the one about making a joyful noise because there were surely joyful noises coming from the kids’ table in the breakfast room. And I liked the part about singing and serving with gladness. I still like those parts of that passage.

These days, I try to make the entire month of November a celebration of the blessings I enjoy in my life. I’ve noticed I’m not alone in this because starting at the first of the month many folks on Facebook started posting what they were thankful for each day. It was nice to see that people appreciate simple things, like beautiful sunsets, close friends, loving family, laughter, their pets, the warmth of a blanket on a cold night, the small stuff that makes life such a gift.

So, getting into the spirit of the upcoming holiday, today I am grateful for the sweet memories I have of the Thanksgiving Days I experienced over the last 61 years. It is good to be alive to celebrate another one next week.

And now that we have completed our turkey drawings, go find a fat potato, then locate some Popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners … Yep, you guessed it; we are making a potato turkey to add to the decorations on our Thanksgiving tables.