Posted by Jon in HB | 9:51 PM | 2 comments »

I lived in Indiana for almost ten years. When people find out, they usually ask “Don’t you miss the seasons?” My standard answer is “No! The summers were too hot and the winters were too cold.” Which is absolutely true and a very real reason, among several others that I moved back to California. But in my answer, I realize that I’ve left out the other two seasons.

I never really liked spring either. Spring was wet and rainy. It just sort of popped in right after a long, cold, dirty-snow filled winter. It started out cold and wet and it was just one big count down to another hot sticky, mosquito infested humid summer.

But there is one season I miss, fall. Keep your snooty ‘autumn’, to me it’s ‘fall’. It was the first respite from that heat and humidity of summer. Once fall hit, it began to get cool and crisp. You could wear jeans again and flannel shirts. You got out the blankets and put them back on your bed. No longer did you sleep sans sheets in nothing but your underwear, constantly flipping your pillow looking for the cold side. Caps kept your head warm when the cold breezes began. You got excited to be able to rifle through that top shelf in the cedar closet searching for the gloves and scarves that have been hiding from the moths since last February. Friday nights were for football. Leaves began to change colors. And it was all the leaves, not just one tree on the block. They turned gorgeous hues of orange, red, yellow, and brown. But not just any brown, a rainbow of browns that you’d only ever heard of on a Bob Ross painting show on PBS. Browns like; burnt sienna, raw umber, auburn, and sepia; each with their own character and richness. They would eventually fall to the ground and crunch under your feet. People would burn leaves and smoke would travel through the neighborhood. Fall was a picture of a turkey made from the outline of a child’s handprint. Fall meant apple picking, harvest festivals, pumpkins, and nuts. Pale yellow remains of recently harvested corn stalks fill the fields. Fall was Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It’s not commercial. There’s no pressure to buy a card or a gift for someone. It’s about family and food, two of my favorite things. In Indiana we would usually rotate houses for the big meal every year. Our house, then my aunt’s then Grandma & Grandpa’s then back to our place. It was always potluck and we got to use the good china, the silver and the nice linens. And it was those old standards on the table every year. There was always, roast turkey with bread and celery stuffing, candied yams with marshmallows on top, that green bean casserole with the fried onions, warm dinner rolls with butter, and mashed potatoes. Dessert was served after the table was cleared and dinner had digested a bit. And dessert was always pumpkin pie with cool whip. After dinner grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, & cousins would sit around the living room and talk and laugh.

I loved that tradition. Gina & I enjoy a similar tradition now, with her father’s side of the family. But we’ve always thought how wonderful it would be to experience all the things that we loved about the holiday with close friends. So for five years now on the Sunday before Thanksgiving we invite some close friends over for a potluck turkey dinner with all the fixings. It is a time that I am truly thankful for. It has been a rough year for some. There was sickness, death, relationship struggles and financial troubles. But through it all everyone was thankful. I am thankful to have those people in my life. I am thankful to know that other people struggle like I do, so more, some less. I am thankful that no matter what comes my way I have a group of friends that I can count on to get us through.

I am thankful for the blessings that God has given my family and me. I am thankful that I make enough money that my wife has been able to stay at home to care for our kids. I am thankful that someone as selfless and caring as Gina, saw something in me that made her want to live her life with me. I am thankful for my loving caring son Dylan. I am thankful for my spirited little princess, Megan. I am thankful for my salvation and relationship with Jesus Christ. I am thankful for our church and school. I am thankful for my wife accepting Jesus. And I am thankful for the fall.

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Heidi // November 25, 2008 at 6:18 AM  

    Beautiful post Jon. You're a very good writer.

    I'm sorry we couldn't be at the festivities on Sunday - it sounds like you all had a great time.

    Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!

  2. VikingMom // November 25, 2008 at 10:59 AM  

    Fall...I miss that season for the very reasons that you described. That's why it was cool sitting at the table with everyone on Sunday. As we sat there, I was looking out the window watching the ships pass by in the dusk. The sound of everyone chatting and having a good time combined with the vista and made for a great Californian "Fall" moment. We had an awesome time and felt grateful to be a part of your tradition.