As Thanksgiving comes and goes, we (or at least I) tend to ponder on Thanksgivings past. Since I’m now 70, that’s a lot of pondering. There were the years growing up with ten cousins running around our house, plus grandparents and aunts and uncles by the bushels. Those years quickly morph into the years my kids were young with nearly as many cousins, plus a host of other relatives including most of the same aunts and uncles from my youth. These memories have one common denominator – well maybe two if you include the exhaustive amount of work it took to pull off such a feast. They all revolved around my mothers massive, remarkable dinning table. I can’t remember exactly when my mother bought the table. I think it was probably around 1960, and probably from an estate sale. It fit the six in our family with plenty of room, but it had two sizable leaves built into the table. We just pulled it apart and folded up the leaves. The extended table fit the extended family most times. So much of our lives, including all our holidays took place around that table for nearly thirty years. If I could only hit rewind on those wonderful gatherings, how wonderful that would be. So many people I shared that table with have passed on. The little ones now grown with families of their own. I fear one of the things Covid took from us is those large chaotic Thanksgiving gatherings. We’ve come to fear crowds, even those we are related to. The large extended family seems to have shrunk to just immediate, must have family. I miss the legions of relatives and friends. But I will have Thanksgiving around my table. No need for the leaves. Just immediate, fully vaccinated, much-loved family that are still in town. We will say thanks to the Lord together, for he is good.