After loading my cart with 10 cartons of cool whip, oodles of fruit cocktail, and the last 10 boxes of pistachio pudding in the store (I needed these items to make the biggest batch of Thanksgiving "Shluff" you have ever seen), I heard the cashier asking the man bagging the groceries what he was doing for Thanksgiving. He replied that he wasn't doing anything because he had no family. He said, " I think I have a half brother somewhere, but I don't know him". This just struck me and I was so sad for him. I almost went back in the store to see if he wanted to come to our Thanksgiving. Too bad the world is so messed up that you can't really safely do something like that. This little experience made me count my blessings! Our thanksgiving included around eighty people this year! It was a huge Smith reunion and we ate Thanksgiving dinner outside in my parents back yard. My dad had to rent an outhouse so their septic tank wouldn't be over loaded. A bit "white trash", I know, but I am grateful to have such a huge family! My Grandma Smith has 44 grandchildren and 56 great-grandchildren (half of my cousins haven't even started having kids yet). My dad even set up a big screen in the back yard to watch the talent DVDs each family made. Amy made ours, of course, and it was the best! We played lots of "Settlers" and ate lots of food!
"I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor's children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden. I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was here and that I really lived." -Marjorie Pay Hinckley