During the holiday season, our biggest wish as a family was that time would stand still. We wanted to savor every minute, especially when children were grown and visits were hinging on airline schedules or hours of drive time. I always cleaned and cooked and prayed that we could all be together safe and sound, the same prayer my mom said when we were heading home in those early years. It was when we were all gathered at the table in the first moment we were all together that my husband would pronounce year after year, “I wish time could stand still.”
When our children were younger, we always tried to find time as the holidays drew near to carve out a few days away from our busy schedules and preparations. Over a span of nearly thirty years, Big Cedar Lodge beckoned to us even if it was just for a day trip on our way to my mom and dad’s house for Thanksgiving. It almost seems a pilgrimage at this point, an awareness of the seasons and changes along the shores of Table Rock Lake.
Our favorite place became one of my parents’ favorite places nearly twenty years ago when they were gifted with an anniversary stay. Since that time, they always reserved time for a pre-holiday stay for all of our families on their anniversary. Schedules stopped for a short time while the weekend before Thanksgiving was allocated for time to stand still as however many of us could gather together, joined in fun and gratitude.
This year, I spent a bittersweet few days at the Lodge with my mother. Mom and I held hands remembering the past seasons of family time. She honors my dad by still scheduling the family retreat, even when she is the only one who might make the pilgrimage. I wasn’t sure with our more recent loss of my husband, if I was up to the visit. With the little girls in tow, we continued the tradition. I swear I looked across the gardens at the newer generation and also saw the shadows of every year, the curtain pulled back for playing and making time something that not only stands still, but reverberates in the soul, never changing and flowing in pure light and love. I saw Dad slapping his leg and my husband shaking his head at the sheer joy in spending time together.
Stress is considered routine for the seasonal festivities. I always wanted to do it all; the recipes, planning, shopping, preparation, cooking, cleaning and decorating. There have been more than a few occasions I wished I could have extra time. I look back now and as we are prone to do, wished I had used more time to just “stand still.”
So, my wish for you this holiday season is to find those moments where time stands still. Reflecting on this, our gift to you has been years in the making: Recipes from a notebook compiled with good food and in turn, good memories. We have grown, curated and collected what you will need for breakfast, hospitality or a full blown Thanksgiving feast. You don’t have to do it all or sacrifice your love for homemade goodness. We are offering a little opportunity to help you and your family time to stand still.
Guest Blogger: Robin Adkison, Riverbluff Farm