It was Thanksgiving Eve in 2004, and I was driving the thirty-minute drive home from work. Snowflakes started to flutter as I drove through town. By the time I made it to the highway, I could barely see in front of me. And I still had to drive through my small mid-western town and country roads.
With dropping temperatures, snow, and now wind blowing the snow and increasing rain, we’d not have electricity at home for Thanksgiving meal. I called home on my cell.
No answer. Bummer.
Phone lines were down.
What usually took eight minutes to get through town and countryside too nearly thirty minutes. Slippery roads. One steering wheel jerk and I’d go flying or rolling through the bean field.
Much prayer later, I arrived home to discover no electricity. Well. That’s fine. We’ll eat bread and butter for Thanksgiving meal and really give thanks.
The feast that had been so rudely interrupted by the ice storm had to be covered up and set outside because it would spoil in the fridge with no electricity to preserve it.
My family scrounged the cabinets for something simple to throw together. We match-lit the stove and prepared a meal fit for a pauper: corn, rolls, green beans, mashed potatoes. Dad braved the elements and deep-fried the turkey.
Simplicity that year turned out to be the best Thanksgiving memory.
As a family, we huddled with blankets around our Thanksgiving table, lit by Grandpa’s kerosene lanterns. We thanked the Lord we had a house, our lives, and good food to eat. We laughed and joked about the weather and wondered how long we’d be snowed in, and who we’d see at the restaurant or grocery store in town when this storm finally blew over and we’d be able to travel again.
God wants us to find peace in the simplicity of life. Even if it meant freezing while thanking.