It was the month of November, 1951 that mom and dad was working at Boeing Aircraft Company in Wichita, Kansas. They carpooled the hour and a half trip each way to and from Grenola every day of the working week. Most of the time they arrived home about 6 or 6:30 in the evening. That particular year, there was a severe blizzard that occurred between Wichita and Grenola in Southcentral Kansas. I was only 8 years of age….at the farm under the care of a baby sitter. On this one particular night, it was getting very late and mom and dad was not home. We had learned by the radio the snow storm south of Wichita was traitorous and many people were being stranded on K-15. Of course Jack and I were worried when we heard this information.
We were reassured by out baby sitter mom and dad would be okay. It was not until the next day, someone stopped in our driveway and let my mother out of the car. She was very happy to get home and out of the blizzard. She told us how the blizzard was already in full force by the time they had gotten off work. They had to drive very slow on the snow packed streets and on the highway it was even worse. When they got to rural Udall, Kansas, the traffic was forced to stop with the snow drifting so high and the cars getting stranded along the way. Mom told us how they could not stay in the car in the sub zero temperatures so most of the stranded folks went to the home of a local farmer where they were fed and spent the night in a warm house. The next morning, somehow mom was able to find a ride back home, but dad had to stay with the car that was buried in a huge snow drift. He was confident the snow plow would eventually clear the road so he could return home. We had no telephone, so there was no communication between dad and our family. I felt the anxiety about dad being stuck out on the road in such cold weather and wished he was home with the family. It was approaching Thanksgiving Day and our family always had a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. It looked like we were not going to be all together on the holiday with dad still taking care of the car near Udall. Mom reassured us that dad was going to be okay since he was staying with a lot of other people at the farmers warm and safe home. That may have helped my anxiety a bit, but I was still missing daddy. I do not recall exactly how long dad was stranded on the road, but we decided to proceed with our Thanksgiving Dinner plans. We had snow on the farm, but it was not nearly as bad as it was in the Udall area. Mom kept busy preparing the meal and all of a sudden we saw dad’s car drive onto the driveway about mid morning on Thanksgiving Day. We gave a shout of joy to see him, and he was equally as glad to see us. We truly had something to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Holiday.
I can hardly remember a time when we did not drive to Moline, Kansas to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with my grandparents. We would alternate between dads folks and mom’s folks each year. One year we would have Thanksgiving with mom’s family and Christmas with dad’s family and visa versa during the next year. It was a good arrangement that worked for our family. Usually after the big dinner, we would stop by the other family for a while before driving home. It was a wonderful time for us to feel the family bond with aunts, uncles and cousins, and to experience the traditional and new recipes for that year. Though we were a rather poor farming family, we had much to be thankful for as we shared our lives together. For me, God was always a dynamic source of the blessings that made me so very thankful for His bounty and for the love of family.
These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng. Psalm 42:4
Along with his fellowship offering of thanksgiving he is to present an offering with cakes of bread made with yeast Leviticus 7:13
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2