travel, hike, eat. repeat.

my adventures are often on a budget… and always clumsy.

thanksgiving in georgia

It’s hard to capture a Thanksgiving with my family in words, or in pictures, really. It’s deep South at its best – blessings before meals, fried turkey is The Word, and the only thing more important than food is hospitality. The whole neighborhood’s invited! I’m blessed and thankful, and my trip was complicated but great. Zan survived it all and got the all-important stamp of approval (I think my cousin wants to steal him for herself! Back off, he’s mine!). There’s no better way to tell you about our Thanksgiving in Newnan, Georgia than with this story my cousin John told us over Thanksgiving dinner…

John’s a leader in the youth group at my childhood church. I’m not religious anymore, but I grew up Southern Baptist, and those beliefs run deep in my family. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, John was standing in the back of the middle school youth group room, hearing the sermon by the youth pastor out of one ear, while keeping the other ear and both eyes peeled for misbehavior or problems he needed to address with the students. A shy 12-year old girl approached him.

“Mr. John,” she said, quietly. “Mr. John? There’s a boy with his hands down his pants.”

My cousin did a double take. He couldn’t have heard right. “Where?” he asked the girl, and she pointed to a row three from the front. John pointed out another seat for the girl and made his way to the edge of the row in question, thinking, “She has to be mistaken.”

A boy approached him on his walk over. “Mr. John, um, there’s a guy, um, well, you know?” he stammered and pointed to the same row.

John stood to the right of the row and tried to spot the situation without craning his neck or making a scene. “These kids have to be playing a prank!”

His jaw dropped.

Sure enough, an 11-year old sixth grader sat in the middle of the third row from the pulpit, his hand down his pants, uhm, well, wanking his willie.

John picked his jaw up off the floor and got the kid’s attention, motioning him to walk towards the back of the room with him. My cousin spoke with him softly, and awkwardly, about how there is a “time” and “place” for most things. And this – church – was probably neither the time nor place for that, um, activity.

After the kids filed out of youth group that night and John talked with the boy’s mom, only the leaders remained. John and the youth pastor called the church’s head pastor. He answered on the second ring, heard the story out, and paused as the two younger leaders waited anxiously to hear if they handled the situation correctly.

The head pastor cleared his throat. “Well,” he started. “I guess you had some hard topics tonight.” 

My cousin chimed in, “Maybe next week’s sermon should be on the resurrection.”

I love my family.

some more frozen images from our trip.

my little nugget is a better car traveler than Zan & I put together. He slept the whole way, both ways!

country colors.

my favorite family tradition is staying up until the wee hours of the morning on Thanksgiving Eve, baking and laughing. Zan fit right in!

turducken, cheesy bread, and a my-eyes-are-bigger-than-my-stomach plate o’grub

this pup was born to be a country dog.

gross, theo! ew, stop! the fam.

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