I do love a traditional Thanksgiving! You know—turkey and dressing and mashed potatoes and gravy and sweet potatoes and home-made cranberry relish and all. Oh, and pumpkin pie for dessert, of course! Yum~!
Which made it especially difficult for me the year my kids were both gone and my first husband Larry’s illness had progressed to a devastating degree. He was no longer able to enjoy much, though he did still love to eat… despite the fact that only a small percent of the food made it into his mouth.
I said, “Larry, since it’s just you and me this year, let’s go out for Thanksgiving dinner. We’ll go any place you want to go.”
Larry said, “IHOP!”
Maybe a nicer place than that, I suggested. Something really special. I could make a reservation, I told him, get us a nice secluded table, and…
“IHOP!” Larry said. “That’s where I want to go.”
Try as I may, I couldn’t dissuade him. So, with visions of a good Thanksgiving disappearing from my head, we made our way to IHOP.
We weren’t the only ones there. A little old couple at the booth in front of us made a point of stopping by to wish us a Happy Thanksgiving. In the booth behind was a mother and her two children. The little girl traced her hand into a turkey on her place mat, colored its tail feathers red, white, and blue, and gave it to Larry. As for the dinner… it was delicious—a fresh roasted turkey, right out of the oven!
When I finally helped Larry out the door, our waitress caught us and handed us a paper bag. “A gift from IHOP,” she said. It was a whole pumpkin pie.
Thank you, IHOP. When I count my Thanksgiving blessings, you’re high on my list.
“Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.”