carmacks1955.jpgToday I learned that my uncle, son of my grandma that just died, has also died. He died on Thanksgiving day. His neighbor found him with a gunshot wound. They think that he committed suicide. I am deeply saddened by this news. What makes it even harder is that he apparently had been doing very well lately. I have never known him not to be having problems with drugs and alcohol. Apparently, though, the past two years he has been free of that bondage. I am sad that I didn’t even know that. I’m also sad that I haven’t seen him in so long when he only lives an hour and a half or two hours away. Granted we’ve never been close and my dad has been dead for nearly 7 years (so we don’t do family get-togethers), but still…

He has two daughters. One is older than I am and one is 4 days younger than I am. I didn’t really know either of them very well. I met the older one maybe twice in my life and the younger one once. They have both gotten closer to my uncle in the past ten years. He was out of their lives for some time. And now he has grandkids. I just have to wonder what happened. If he was doing so well, what happened? What kind of pain was he going through, especially to have done this on Thanksgiving day just before he was going to be picked up to go celebrate with his family? These situations are so sad because they don’t make sense. It seems like the people around someone who has committed suicide should see the symptoms, but it is so rare that it is so obvious. I want to make clear that I’m not trying to blame anyone. It’s impossible to tell sometimes. Of course, maybe there was another person involved. That would make it less sad in this situation I think.

Oh, it makes me sad… 😦

school3.jpg Thanks to Aunt Christine for the pictures. On top picture, my uncle Tom is the second youngest. The youngest is my dad. On the bottom picture, my uncle is the one in the bottom right-hand corner. My uncle Dick is in the bottom left-hand corner , my uncle John is two over from Dick and my aunt Christine is the one above my uncle Tom. This was before my dad went to school.

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Over at RevGals, Singing Owl wrote this:

Ah, the day after Thanksgiving–groan! Fortunately, I love Thanksgiving leftovers.

Thanksgiving is the American holiday when the greatest number of people travel somewhere else to celebrate. I am posting this from my son’s home in Minnesota where we are recovering from the food shopping and the preparations and the meal and the clean up. It is difficult to think of anything requiring much energy today, and I am enjoying my sweet baby granddaughter, so I will keep it simple. For those of you not in the USA, I apologize for the nationalistic tone of this Friday Five!

1. Did you go elsewhere for the day, or did you have visitors at your place instead? How was it?

My family and I went to my mother’s house for Thanksgiving this year. It was quite enjoyable!

2. Main course: If it was the turkey, the whole turkey, and nothing but the turkey, was it prepared in an unusual way? Or did you throw tradition to the winds and do something different?

We had our usual turkey, but my sister-in-law also made a cranberry, apple, pear dish and her family’s baked beans recipe. I really enjoyed the baked beans.

3. Other than the meal, do you have any Thanksgiving customs that you observe every year?

We don’t have any special traditions for Thanksgiving. I think writing this at 3 in the morning is not helping it to be interesting…

4. The day after Thanksgiving is considered a major Christmas shopping day by most US retailers. Do you go out bargain hunting and shop ‘till you drop, or do you stay indoors with the blinds closed? Or something in between?

I do not go out shopping. I think I would have shopping rage. That would be like road rage except your driving a cart. I am still up waiting to see what deals apple.com will have when it is finally midnight over on the west coast. I don’t usually do that.

5. Let the HOLIDAY SEASON commence! When will your Christmas decorations go up?

I have no idea! I was thinking about how nice it would be to do it the other day until I realized it wasn’t even Thanksgiving yet. It just seemed crazy to me then. Probably as soon as I can get the house picked up some more so we have room to work, I’ll haul everything out.

3:01 and still no Apple Store! Come on! 3:06! I’m posting this now.

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope everyone has had as wonderful a holiday as I have. I went to my mom’s house for the traditional turkey and had a very good dinner. I even came back with leftovers. Cold turkey sandwiches tomorrow!

Today, I would like to tell you all what I am thankful for.

    1. My loving God – He’s so wonderful. He loves me more than anyone else and I know that I can never deserve His love, yet He loves me.
    2. My hubby – He loves me and does things for me even when I don’t really deserve for him to be so nice to me. Thank you, honey, and I love you!
    3. My kids (Princess and Little Man) – They daily show me new things and daily give me their unconditional love. Sometimes I don’t deserve that either.
    4. The rest of my family (moms, dads and brothers and sisters) – Thanks for being such great family!
    5. My church family – Our congregation loves us so much and I am thankful for that. I love them, too. I am so glad we fit together so well and I look forward to continuing to effect change in our community.
    6. My many, many friends (both in life and in the online realm) – I’m so glad I friends that I can go to when I need to talk. I am also so glad for all the friends that I have made through blogging. Blogging has opened up a whole new world of giving and receiving blessings. I am also thankful for all the readers of my blog. Don’t be afraid to de-lurk. I’d love to be your friend, too.
    7. My fellow ministers – All of you readers that are fellow pastors and all the fellow pastors in my community and in the Assemblies of God that I have become close to, I appreciate what you have taught me. I look forward to continually growing at the prodding of others.

      I’m sure that there are many more things I am thankful for that I have left out. These are the ones with the biggest impact on my life. Thank you all for all you do for me! Happy Thanksgiving!

      The last couple of days I’ve been kind of in a fog. I’m not sure why. Today I am just really in a funk. I think that is because the weather is just blah. It’s rainy and dark. I like the sun! I need the sun! I feed off of the sun! (Literally – I need that vitamin D!) Today I also had to pay a huge bill that we couldn’t really afford to pay, but we did anyway. And we didn’t even really pay it. I mean we paid it with extra school loan money, so doesn’t that just make really paying it delayed? Our finances can be frustrating. I always try to remind myself that if we had more money, we would spend more money, so we would still have issues. It’s true. That does make me feel a little better somehow.

      Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I feel like I should think on happy things. So, I will turn this bill paying around and look at the happy side. The bill now has a way lower percentage rate! It is also not looming over us because we won’t have to pay it back until 6 months after Chris graduates with his masters degree. That’s at least 3 years from now. That is very good news! I guess it’s all about the details. The overall picture may look bleak, but I can’t go borrowing tomorrow’s troubles, can I? For today, we have one less bill to worry about. Yippee!

      Tomorrow we will be going to my mom’s house for Thanksgiving and to celebrate all the December birthdays in my family. Hubby, Princess and my brother are all turning a year older next month. We decided to celebrate early so that it’s more of a birthday celebration. Of course, originally it was supposed to be separate from all holiday celebrations, but that didn’t work out. It should be fun, though. I’m looking forward to a relaxing day stuffing myself with turkey. I really hope we have leftover turkey, too. I love cold turkey sandwiches. Yum! Well, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

      I am bored at work
      Once again, I’m bored at work
      Need something to do!

      Thanksgiving feasting,
      fills my tummy with goodness,
      warm and delicious.

      What do I have to
      be thankful for, O my Lord?
      What not, my child?