It's almost Thanksgiving! I have wonderful memories of this holiday from childhood. I grew up next door to my paternal grandmother (who just turned 100! She is still awesome!) who still lives right between two of her 5 sons. The three houses span over 30+ acres. Some Thanksgivings there would be 30 family members celebrating together. Sometimes at our house, sometimes at Grandma's and sometimes at my aunt & uncle's.
All of the children, about 15 to 20 of us, would be ushered outside to play while dinner was being prepared and then again once it was finished. We would run and run because we had so much room to do so. There was an abandoned speedboat that we would climb into and pretend to be on some high-speed chase adventure. From there we would run to the tallest tree with its tire-swing, imagining it was the only safety from a pack of wild dogs that could come from the woods at any moment!
Another huge, old tree went in different directions. That was our apartment. One section was the sleeping area, another the kitchen and another sort of a living room area. On warmer days I would spend hours up there with a book, reading until my mom called me home for dinner. It hung directly over a deep pond, but still, we children climbed as high as we could and jumped as often from it!
There was no adult supervision. The older children were in charge of the younger ones. Our imaginations flourished and so did our sense of freedom and confidence. It was a beautiful time. I'm ever thankful for my childhood and the wonder and beauty that I was fortunate enough to experience. I feel saddened sometimes by how protected our children are today. Mine don't leave my sight for a moment. I doubt I'll ever feel comfortable letting them walk the 15-minute promenade to school. It's a different world today. But I'm grateful for being a part of it and I'm thankful for the wonderful memories that will always be a part of me.