Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Favorite Tale - "Mr. Tom"

My sister and I won't have the chance to be together this Thanksgiving, due to other commitments made and physical distance (i.e. me living in Kansas and her living in Kentucky). I always miss her company, but this feeling seems especially magnified during the holidays.

We did not always have the easiest relationship growing up, but now we share a deep bond of friendship, along with sharing a similar childhood history.

And although we are different, we are also very similar in a lot of ways. I enjoy being with her for many reasons, to name just a few...she is easy to talk to, always willing to lend a sympathetic ear, and can definitely out shop, and out bargain hunt me.

The story below is one that I shared on my blog two years ago. As I sat down to write my Thanksgiving post, this tale kept coming to mind.

I hope you will indulge me, as I regale the story of "Mr. Tom". And as they say on the radio airwaves, I am dedicating this one to my sister from across the miles.

"Every year in November, I love to decorate my office with the picture of this funny little character. Made from simple construction paper and elmer's glue, this is one of my favorite art pieces to hang on the wall near my desk.

Mr. Tom, as I affectionately call him, is an endearing reminder of the first Thanksgiving holiday I celebrated at my sister's home. Because of life circumstances, the relationship between my sister and I had slowly drifted apart. After many years, we both came to a point in our lives where we each began to reach out for the other. And, the precious moments of this particular holiday gave us the opportunity to reconnect, and rekindle our bonds of love, friendship, and sisterhood.

My two beautiful nieces were quite young when I visited that first year. I remember my sister commenting during a phone conversation before the trip that the girls thought their Aunt Tracie was VERY COOL because I was an artist.

WELL...not wanting to disappoint my adoring fans, I dragged along some art supplies, and whipped together a few ideas so they could enjoy making some art of their own. The first project I shared with them was constructing festive holiday placemats for everyone at the Thanksgiving table.

OH, what FUN, we had making our table art. We all looked like mad scientists with the furrowed brow that matched our intense concentration as we created our masterpieces. There were sounds of scissor snipping, pieces of construction paper flying about, and glue everywhere. My nieces pulled out every crayon they could find, along with all their glitter, and more markers than I had ever seen in order to help with our decorating efforts.

My brother-in-law even joined in the crafting session, and made a placemat for himself. Secretly, I think he was worried that he might not have a place to sit if he did not mark his spot at the table with a custom piece of art.

It was only by some miracle that my art placemat did not have one stain or unsightly food remnant on it after our delicious meal. So while I was helping with the clean up, I removed my art piece from the table, and carefully tucked it in my suitcase.

Once I returned home, I took it straight over to my nearest office supply store to have it laminated. And, after all these years, Mr. Tom continues to be a most cherished keepsake from a holiday of wonderful memories and Thankfulness."

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!