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Evolved Mommy | August 23, 2014

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You Can't Google That [Thanksgiving] - Evolved Mommy

You Can’t Google That [Thanksgiving]
Stephanie McCratic

This Thanksgiving we got to spend quality time with both families (Steve’s and mine), which doesn’t normally happen.

We played games, ate Thanksgiving dinner (even though it did not contain officially sanctioned dishes like green bean casserole or corn), took a road trip, went to a tree farm and drank lots of coffee.

Green beans and corn weren’t the only things absent from our Thanksgiving… we put our phones away (for the most part) and went to two different places that can’t be Googled. Yep, they exist.

1. Thanksgiving Day at Rheas Mill Community Church

I wish I had taken a picture of the outside of the sweet little country church where Steve’s family meets for Thanksgiving every year. I couldn’t find it on a map if I had to.

Rheas mill bell

And you can’t find it on a GPS. I tried.

It doesn’t have an address or a parking lot.

Directions from my perspective: Take a long two-lane road. Go around a couple scenic prairie curves, pass too many cows to count and at least three tire swings. Then turn up the hill and just at the top you’ll see a little white church, complete with a bell.

The fellowship hall where we get together, I’m guessing based on the wood paneled walls and fluorescent lighting, was a mid-70s addition. It’s a little less idyllic, but it’s perfect for this family.

IMG 4395

We eat, then we spread out the Black Friday sale fliers and look for the best deal on TVs, or talk about how the deals aren’t that great. Some cousins play games and work puzzles. We don’t see each other often, so it doesn’t matter what exactly we talk about. Just that we talk and visit and catch up with each other.

IMG 4392

Helen at Rheas Mill

My phone stayed in my purse until just about time to leave. I didn’t even get it out to look at my Black Friday app. Isn’t that incredible? And, you know what? It didn’t occur to me until we had been there for two hours that I had left it in my purse on the other side of the room.

Side (dieting) note: I tried eating a bowl of plain oatmeal just before Thanksgiving dinner in hopes of controlling the amount of butter-laden foods that went into my mouth. It backfired! I still ate like there would never be food ever again on earth. Next time I’ll save myself the 150 calories from the oatmeal. Lesson learned.

 

2. Black Friday at the Tree Farm

The next morning, instead of getting up at the crack of down to hit any of those wacky sales we had just spent an entire day studying, we loaded up and headed to Little Rock for the day to see my family.

Lunch at Cheers in the Heights

My parents like to cut down their own tree as opposed to buying it off a lot or (my annual Christmas tradition) assembling the artificial tree. Last year I seriously considered a Festivus pole because I didn’t want to fluff a single musty branch on my monstrous faux tree.

Side (dieting) note: I ate ALL of my fries with my lunch, since the holiday was blown anyway. Now I’m waiting a couple weeks to weigh myself so as not to enter a death spiral of binging.

Row of Trees at the Tree Farm

By the time we got to Little Rock we were starving, so we headed to lunch at our favorite restaurant, Cheers in the Heights, before loading back into the car for the trek to Schilling’s tree farm just outside of Little Rock in Lonoke, where they’ve been selling trees since 1989. We love this place, the family that runs it and the whole experience of hunting for, cutting down and loading up (Griswold style) the PERFECT Christmas tree.

schlling's Tree Farm, Cabot, AR

meme and charlie at schllings

picking a tree at Schilling tree farm

Steve picks a tree at schilling tree farm

our tree at schillings

Charlie in the snowman at Schillings

steve in the snowman at schllings

 

We never lived in the country, so getting to spend time on any kind of farm is a treat. Some people say the beach is a nice place to visit, but they wouldn’t want to live there. That’s how I feel about farms. Those places look like A LOT of work, no matter what kind of farm they are.

Mr. Schilling planted his first trees in 1982 and then had to wait until 1987 to sell them. Who has that kind of patience for a business these days?

Mr. Schilling from Schilling Tree Farm in Cabot, Ar

There were no Black Friday sales at Schilling’s Tree Farm. Just beautiful trees and soul-warming memories.

And a little Griswold-style rigging

tree on the suv

How to tie down a tree on an Acadia

 

Counting my blessings

In this year of immeasurable blessings I thought the bible verse from church on Sunday was powerfully true:

“Remember the Lord, your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.”

I’m not saying we have amassed great wealth, but as we experience these wonderful successes and pursue opportunities in the coming year it is always important to remember that we did not create these opportunities. Somebody much greater than us did.

This year I’m grateful for Steve and Charlie most of all. I am grateful that when I have problems they are very superficial, 1st world problems and not whether or not I’ll have access to water. Our goal for this year was to be blessings to others. We did okay at that, but could’ve done better. Maybe we will carry that one over into next year and work a little harder at it.

 

 

Comments

  1. You are a blessing to me and I believe you are wealthy in blessings, family, friends, and yes, that is true wealth!

  2. Cutting down our Christmas tree was a family tradition for many years, until the kids grew up and spread out/got too busy. Now our tradition is to have a shaped rosemary or tree “top” tree with ornaments we collect during our travels that year, that way we can relive the year’s memories and I don’t have as many needles to clean up.

  3. evolvedmommy

    Kim, I’m amazed at how many different kinds of trees there are. These Leland Cypress trees are my favorite b/c they are different. And because they don’t have pine needles to clean up.

  4. We also cut down our own! This year we got a little mini tree for our apartment to celebrate a bit more before we spilt up and go to our respective families’ homes. Crazy that the farm we go to in Owasso has completely different types of trees! I’m not sure what they grow but it’s a really thin tree, compared to the kind I’m used to.

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