It is a dreary scene that meets our eyes as we look across the meadow above the house, with clouded skies and occasional mizzling rain that dampens everything.
The thought crosses my mind that this the same scene that I have viewed all my life. I was a year old when Mom and Daddy brought me here to spend the rest of my life, and there is not a lot of change now. For the next 82 years, I have lived here in the same spot.
The meadow was once empty of anything except leftover corn stalks and dry stubble. There were no buildings, just plowed ground where we grew corn over the entire meadow. It crosses my mind that I am looking at the same scene that must greeted my grandmother when she was the housewife and mother here. I wonder if she had the same feelings and hopes that I have, and if she was content here in the old Jenny Lind house which is now gone.
Probably she was thinking of the coming Thanksgiving, and of the special dishes to be prepared. There would be the orange pumpkin in the cellar to be cut up and cooked, ready to be made into the pumpkin pies that were expected. There would be the fat hens to be butchered, and the plucked feathers saved for fluffy pillows. Grateful family would enjoy the country style Thanksgiving dinner.
As I continued looking at the scene before me, I asked Criss what his impression was when he first came here. Right after we were married, we moved into the little house that Mom and Daddy first occupied, perched on the bank of the creek. It was just a little shack, but I loved it. Rambler roses grew all over the bank, from the house down to the creek. We could hear the trickling of the water as we drifted off to sleep.
He spoke of the same meadow that I had been musing. He said, “Your Dad had built a platform out in the middle of it, so his cows could step upon it to eat and get out of the mud. He had a steer that was pretty ornery, and every day I would talk your brother Larry into riding him. Of course, every day Larry got bucked off in the mud, but the next day I would persuade him again. I don’t think he ever was on him more than two or three bucks!”
Now, as I look at Pilot Knob through the mist, I think of the generations that have lived here, and are gone. It makes me wonder how many will follow us. Also, how many will still be thankful to our God for our blessings. Thanksgiving Day is next week, and it is the traditional time to give thanks to the Lord for our bountiful blessings.
I’m afraid if we haven’t lived the whole year long with a thankful heart, we cannot cram it into one short day. The Lord loves and blesses a thankful people. A thankful and grateful heart will resound with praises unto God, and it rises as an incense unto Him. When most people begin counting their blessings, the material things come to mind. We do need to be thankful for all things that the Lord has so abundantly blessed us with, and never take them for granted. We have luxuries that our grandparents never dreamed of; work-saving appliances that only require the push of a button.
Whenever I turn on a spigot in the kitchen, and hot water rushes from the tap, I am glad that I don’t have to make a trip to the pitcher pump and heat the water on the range. A turn of the thermostat brings warm air through the furnace vents, and eliminates those trips to the coalhouse and woodpile. What a blessing it is to step into a bathtub full of hot water, and relegate the No.3 washtub to the past forever! I won’t even go into those cold, wintertime trips to the outhouse!
These modern day blessings can be a detriment to us however, if we allow them to overshadow spiritual concerns. We can become so comfortable and settled in our lives that we fail to consider our neighbors who may not be as blessed. It seems that the more we have, the less thankful we are. God warned the children of Israel of this danger in Deut. 6:10-12, “And it shall be, when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee unto the land where He sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildest not, and houses full of all good things, which thou fillest not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantest not; when thou shalt eaten and be full; then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.”
I have so much to be thankful for. Thank the Lord for the spiritual inheritance that was handed down by my parents and has been a foundation for my own life. To be brought up in the way of the Lord, and showed by example a living faith that can carry you through all the days of your life is an unmatched blessing.
There are so many blessings that I can’t count them. The greatest blessing of all is the gift of salvation, and a wonderful Savior who has redeemed us from a life of sin. I am thankful that I can see the beauties of God’s world, hear the rejoicing of the songbirds and the voices of my grandchildren. It is a wonderful blessing to me to be allowed to live here in the hills where my ancestors lived.
To each of my readers I wish a happy and blessed Thanksgiving, and may the peace of God rule in your hearts and lives.