Everyday Blessings: A Thanksgiving Journey

The home and gardening TV personality shares a heartwarming memory of a holiday adventure with her tight-knit family.

Posted in , Sep 30, 2021

A family prays over Thanksgiving dinner

I don’t remember much about the turkey and fixings of my childhood Thanksgiving dinners. However, I do remember our journeys to get there and the feelings they evoked. We spent most Thanksgivings at my aunt’s house on Mackinac Island, Michigan.

One of the only ways to get there—the ferries had stopped for the season—was by snowmobile. We would drive 45 minutes to St. Ignace, on the mainland opposite the island, where my father convinced my cousin to attach a trailer to the back of a snowmobile and tow us across the frozen lake.

The snowmobile would wind through the pine trees that marked where the ice was the thickest and safest. I remember holding my breath to lock out the cold and the fear that would fill me as we zoomed across the ice. The only part of my body exposed to the elements was my eyes. My family and I were packed in. The more smooshed we became with each bump and curve, the closer I felt to every­one—and not just physically. I would close my eyes and thank God for my tight-knit family.

Each year, as I prepare for Thanksgiving with my husband and daughters, I try to remember the warm feelings that would wash over me as I rode in that cold trailer. I remind myself not to sweat the details but instead to be conscious of the ways to hold my people tight. It is in that close­ness that the spirit of Thanks­giving lives.

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