It was with great trepidation and much excitement that our family of five trailered all we owned through the Alberta Rockies to British Columbia.
My father had received his first church posting in a small suburb of New Westminster called Burquitlam.
This calling included an old church, a parsonage next door with two small bedrooms, one bathroom, an eccentric oil heater and thirty-five dollars a week.
Mom took a part-time job in a Salvation Army Senior’s home
and learned 101 ways to cook hamburger. There were no extras for food those years.
I will never forget the first Thanksgiving Sunday in that little old church.
The Women’s group had spent much of Saturday afternoon decorating the altar and the platform. Sunday morning we were in awe at the corn husks, fall leaves, pumpkins and flowers arranged in still life around the altar.
The communion table held a large open Bible, now draped with white embroidered cloth and piled high with sacks of potatoes, onion, carrots, quart canning jars of peaches, cherries, pears, plums, apricots, small jars of ruby coloured jellies and intriguing packages in white tissue paper. A beautiful sight.
At the end of the service one of the men stood up and announced that it was their tradition to give the Thanksgiving display to the pastor and his family.
I saw a tear drop from mom’s eye as she smiled at our excitement.
It was like Christmas in October carrying that bounty home from all those loving generous people.
That was the year I learned what Thanksgiving really meant.
©Sharron R. McMillan