I'm SO Grateful, Dang It!!
Before I can even understand how we are at the beginning of another holiday season, here it is upon us! Where has the year gone? It has flown by and yet in other ways in seems an eternity since the ball dropped and we welcomed 2018. This year has brought with it many highs and lows. The most noticeable of which, being Alabama Sunshine moved into our new facility! It was a BIG milestone. Not without it challenges but a very important step in growing our little family business.
I am happy…errrrr….. I mean obligated to report that two weeks ago the hard freeze finished off the pepper plants for 2018. The harvest complete, we turn toward the holidays! Now I do not get as excited about the holidays as some. It’s a stressful time. My grandfather, Victor Smith, could often be heard proclaiming, “Now I would be glad to make an agreement with anybody! If they agree not to get me anything then I will be just fine not getting them anything!” Now some might think this severe but he really felt it would be a way to remove holiday stress. My maw maw, Ruby Moore never cared much for the business and extra decorations of the season either. She could often be heard proclaiming on Christmas day to go ahead and “get that tree outta here.” So, you see, in my defense, I come by it honest!
I have to put some thought into getting into the right mindset for the marathon that is in the next few weeks. So, I decided I would start by getting myself good and grateful heading into Thanksgiving! A good idea right????? Who can’t benefit from more thankfulness? I start writing what I was thankful for each day. Sure, I had lots of things! Family, healthy (even though they are nearly grown) children, health, a home. Great! This list was starting off wonderfully. I would be just like the shirts in no time! Come on, you know the ones…..”Grateful, Thankful, Blessed” well, we definitely check all those boxes so I knew holiday cheer was just around the corner! However, no matter how I tried I just wasn’t in the spirit. I had almost given up on myself until I was shopping for sweet potato casserole ingredients today in Walmart.
Now I just needed a few things, should be easy , right?!?!?! It’s the day before Thanksgiving, the parking lot is crowded. The first thing that catches my eye is that someone has parked their car in the buggy return!!! Yep…right on up in there with the buggies. Now bless their heart, that was an emergency shopping trip. Probably panic over an unthawed turkey if I had to guess. I giggled since nobody seemed injured by these events and walked on into Walmart. People are buzzing around everywhere! Mommas with babies, Grandparents with grandbabies in tow, young adults, elderly couples. I noticed their buggies. We all had very close to the same stuff in that buggy. Every last one of us green bean casserole, turkey, gravy, rolls, sweet potatoes. It was at that moment I had a thought. Look how ALIKE we are. All here. All doing the same thing. It’s a ritual of sorts.
Maybe it’s that ritual that unites us. We weren’t red. We weren’t blue. We were people. People who had other people to feed tomorrow. Then it hit me! I am grateful. I am SO grateful for all of this! The highs, the lows, the ritual of the holidays. So let’s do this! Let’s face these holidays together. I have realized I can feel grateful and exhausted and overwhelmed all at once. So my gratefulness overflows dang it and I hope yours does too!!! May your holidays be peaceful and may you not end up in the WalMart buggy return!!! 😉
Julie Smith Madison , co-owner of Alabama Sunshine