Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My "first" Thanksgiving

45 years ago in Delta Junction, Alaska the buffalo roamed freely. It was dark by 2:30, and the nights were forever long. The stars seemed so close and bright I thought I could reach up and pluck one.

We heated with diesel fuel and cooked with propane. We could barely afford that stewing hen, much less a turkey on the military salary, but I wanted to prepare my first Thanksgiving dinner. Half way through the roasting, our trailer-size oven went cold. It ran out of propane. Days before payday and we didn't have six cents for a stamp to write home. None of the military families living off post did. We dug in the drawers, car, purse, pockets and came up with 99 cents. We went to the gas station up on the highway and asked the attendant to fill our five gallon drum with 99 cents worth of propane.

Today, so many years later, I am thankful for the man who filled our tank to the brim, and sent us down the road with his blessing.

We invited Bob and Karen over to share a meal. We heard a racket outside, looked out the trailer window at the field across the road and the small forest of stunted trees where the buffalo meandered. We noticed a middle age Eskimo couple walking down the gravel road, and it broke our hearts when we realized the man was verbally abusing the woman. Again. It was a common occurrence, a way of life for them, but especially hard to witness on Thanksgiving. Karen and I wanted to go rescue her.

Some times all we can do is offer a thought or prayers. Today I pray for all of those who are hungry, hurting, alone, in need. I am grateful for my many blessings and count my blog buddies among them. Wishing you and yours a blessed day. Enjoy your "stuffing."    

14 comments:

jabblog said...

Seeing the state of others is often the way to make us count our blessings. That memory has remained with you. I have a similar memory - at the time it made me cry.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday.

Shelly said...

I join my prayers with yours. And Happy Thanksgiving!

Sioux said...

Linda--That tale is definitely a future CS story winner. When they have the "CS Stories for the Soul: Propane Proponents" volume call-out, you certainly need to send this.

Have a Happy Turkey Day tomorrow--you and the old buzzard, Bill.

Bookie said...

So much to be thankful for...good memories alone are worth a bundle these days. I never thought about buffalo in Alaska! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Daisy said...

Wow, what a memorable first Thanksgiving that was! I am very grateful for all that I have too. I hope you and yours have a very happy Thanksgiving!

K9friend said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Linda!

Pat
Critter Alley

BECKY said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Linda! I'm very thankful for all my friends and family, too...I put you in both those groups! :)
PS This certainly reminded me of my first "military" Thanksgiving...it was unmemorable!

Tammy said...

Amen. I was touched by the man who filled your tank. Happy Thanksgiving, Linda!

Susan said...

Hi Linda....That was a nice post. Your first Thanksgiving memories are still vivid in your mind and heart. So sorry for that Eskimo lady.There are hundreds like her all over. There, but for the grace of God, go I.

Thanksgiving Day was a delight but oh, enough already with the eating.

I'm thankful to have met you in blogland, Linda. You are a dear. Susan

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Linda.

River said...

Delta Junction, Alaska...where's my atlas?
I wish you could have invited the Eskimo couple to dinner too, but understand why you didn't. I can't imagine trying to cook anything on a tiny propane oven. We once borrowed a tiny camping stove when the house we moved in to wasn't quite ready so had no stove at all, but it was electric, so there was no worry about it running out of gas.

River said...

PS; Happy Thanksgiving.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

We can be the answer to someone's prayers. I'm glad this gentleman showed such kindness.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Lynn said...

More stories for your Alaskan adventure...