Tag Archive | Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving in New Parish – Part 3

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Between the turkey and pie, I hope everyone has to opportunity to take a moment and think about what they are thankful for today and every day. We live in such a wonderful time, where we are very blessed and have so much…

 

 

Excerpt from Return to New Parish:

Chapter 13 – Let’s Talk

“That morning as they made their grandmother’s cinnamon rolls Sarah hit on exactly what Hannah had been feeling, “This is it. Day after tomorrow they all go back to Georgia and we go back to normal life,” she sighed.

“Yeah, the time goes by so fast it’s like we just get together, then it’s time to go,” Hannah nodded. “It’s the same every year.”

“I’m going to invite Bren and Beth out for Christmas,” Sarah informed. “Mom and Dad will be on their cruise, Dave and Paul always go to their in-laws, so really they won’t have anyone to hang out with over Christmas. Beth usually goes to Bren’s and they have a big deal with Bren’s in-laws, but she doesn’t have in-laws this year. So, maybe they’ll come out here. Do you think Uncle Alex will help out again?”    

“It’s a great idea,” Hannah pondered aloud. “I don’t know, probably. I’ll ask him.”

“Cool,” Sarah smiled. “Thanks.”

Later that day, after the feast had been feasted upon, Hannah found Alex hid away in his man cave. He was resting in his chair. His head was positioned on the back of the chair, his hat covering his face, with his feet stretched out in front, one cowboy boot crossed over the other. Hannah knew this posture well by now, he was resting, but not unapproachable.

“Hi,” she spoke quietly as she entered the room.

Alex moved his hand slowly to push his hat out of his way, “Hi,” he smiled easily at her.

“You tired?” she asked. Moving toward him and taking her usual seat on the arm of his chair.

“No ma’am,” he winked. “I’m stuffed.”

Hannah chuckled, then said, “Hey, can I ask a big favor?”

Alex sat up in an attempt to be more attentive and answered, “Yes.”

Hannah took a deep, steadying breath and began, “So, Sarah is going to invite Bren and her kids, and Beth out for Christmas. They’d be staying over at her place.”

Alex nodded at this information and looked as though he were waiting for the favor to be gotten around to.

“The thing is, Bren might not have much money right now, after her ex-husband harpooned her finances. So, I was wondering if we can get them to come out. Can you help with getting them out here? And, by help, I mean, can you pay for it?”

Alex chuckled softly and nodded, “Yes, ma’am, if they want to come out for Christmas, I’ll pay for it.”

“Thank you!” Hannah said excitedly and leaned in to give him a hug.

He reciprocated and said, “You know, I don’t know if you noticed or not, but it’s getting more and more difficult to think of you in a sisterly way.”

Hannah gave into a total giggle fit and wished he hadn’t. That could have been a moment to move their relationship forward, she lamented later.

The next morning Hannah was busy helping everyone get packed and ready to leave early the next morning. It was a linear procession of, “I can’t find my…” to, “Are you sure everything’s going to fit in there?” But eventually everyone was sitting on ready and sort of spreading out to explore options.

By the afternoon her parents were gone over to visit with Brother Michael, Dave and his family were over at Max’s ranch taking riding lessons, Paul was sequestered in his rooms with his wife who refused to leave them and wanted him to tend their little boy, and all the sisters Sarah, Brenda, and Beth were at Hannah’s apartment to visit and eat leftovers. Brenda’s kids and Liam and Cassie were watching Disney movies, which gave the sisters time to really talk and catch up on what was going on in each other’s lives.

“Liam and Sebastian are becoming really good buddies,” Hannah observed.

“They really are,” Brenda agreed. “Sebastian needs that, he’s never really had friends, mostly he just gets bullied at school.”

“Bummer,” Sarah looked concerned. “What are you doing about it?”

“I’m really thinking about home school,” Brenda sighed. “I don’t know really, I’ve talked to his teacher, but she’s got so many kids in her classroom till it’s hard for her to keep eyes on him all the time. Being out here has been really good for him, and that little Liam is scrumptiously adorable.”

“I agree,” Hannah smiled with a bit of pride in her boy.

“Okay, so,” Sarah began, “I want to invite you and Beth out for Christmas. Hannah’s already talked to Uncle Alex and he’ll pay for you guys to come out. You’ll be staying over at my place. Sebastian and Liam will have loads of time to play, and we’d love to have you guys here for Christmas.”

“Wow, really?” Beth replied, looking shocked.

“Yeah, so what do you say?” Sarah encouraged.

Brenda smiled, now looking very happy, “I’m in!”

“Cool!” Sarah and Hannah chimed.

All the attention turned to Beth, who was doing the Mom thing and trying to ignore the offer.

“Come on Beth, what about it?” Sarah tried to encourage her. “Sisters together for Christmas, it’s been a really long time since that’s happened.”

“Okay,” Beth said softly. “But I’m not going to be the one to tell Mom.””

 

Find Return to New Parish, New Parish, and Brigham Tea Magazine on Amazon.com at the link below:

https://www.amazon.com/Julie-Worthington/e/B00E6622QO?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3&qid=1569181539&sr=1-3

   

Thanksgiving in New Parish – Part 2

Thanksgiving is always steeped in tradition. Each family has their own traditions, such as what food is cooked and how it is cooked, activities that are a must for the day, and of course as much family and friends included as possible. It’s really all about love, relationships – and sharing the work!

In this next part of Hannah’s family’s Thanksgiving in New Parish you’ll learn some more about some of their traditions.

 

Excerpt from Return to New Parish:

Chapter 13 – Let’s Talk

“The next morning’s early start was the usual, Hannah and Sarah making their Grandmother’s cinnamon rolls, as per tradition. This time was a bit different, though. The big house kitchen made it easy to navigate, and of course Sarah had Parley with her.

Parley seemed very interested in what they were doing, Hannah dipped her finger in the icing just a bit, and gave him a taste. He got very excited and very animated with both his hands and feet moving rapidly. Sarah gave her a serious scowl.

She shrugged and winked at Parley, “Who’s your favorite auntie?”

He let her know his feelings with a big smile.

It didn’t take long for everyone to arrive on the scene and begin the traditional eating of the cinnamon rolls and meal prep in synchronicity. Hannah noticed her mom looking around often as they worked through the morning.

She began to feel a little uneasy thinking maybe she’d forgotten something important, so she asked, “Is something missing? What are you looking for? Maybe I can help find it?”

“I’m not looking for anything,” Samantha deigned.

“It’s just that, I see you looking around like you’re looking for something,” Hannah explained, feeling confused.

Samantha waved her hand in front of her as if to clear something away and went on with the food prep.

Sarah chuckled from behind Hannah and she turned to see what Sarah was laughing about. “She’s looking for Uncle Alex,” Sarah accused her mother.

“I most certainly am not!” Samantha defended herself, but couldn’t hide the guilty look.

“Oh,” Hannah sighed, catching on, “He’s not here. If, you were looking for him, he’s out till this afternoon.”

“Looking for another wife, I suppose,” Samantha scathingly accused.

“Ha!” Hannah returned. “He wasn’t looking when he got me, so I doubt it. He took Buck and some of the guys over to help out a fellow who’s had some hard times. You know, do some home repairs, mend fences, stock the pantry, stuff like that.”

“Mmm,” Samantha shrugged, “I’m still bewildered as to why you would marry a man old enough to be your grandfather. Even if things were perfect, and he’s not, you’d still not have very many years together,” Samantha sighed in frustration.

“She has a point,” Brenda shrugged. “With Sarah and Max the age difference isn’t that much. But Hannah, really, your guy is substantially older.”

Hannah’s thoughts went instantly to her friend at BYU, “Yeah, there’s an age difference, but it doesn’t matter to me. I think he’s awesome and amazing. Besides, you remember my friend, Helen. She came home with me a few years ago, she was a couple of years ahead of me in school. She was 21 and her husband had passed away a couple months before. They were the same age,” Hannah sighed. “They met their first year at BYU. He was so cute, very handsome, they had fallen in love immediately. He was sweet, kind, and really perfect. They were perfect together, so happy. Till his headaches got really bad. He went to the doctor and yeah, brain cancer, inoperable. Three months later all Helen could do was hold his hand and watch him die,” Hannah sighed again.

Silence settled on the room as Hannah finished telling about Helen. She noticed a sad smile on Sarah’s face, and how her mom was pretending what Hannah had said didn’t affect her at all.

To Hannah’s surprise her Dad spoke breaking the silence, “Sammy,” he began slowly, “You need to leave Alex alone. He’s a good man, and he loves our Hannah. And even more importantly Hannah needs him.”

Hannah wanted to run over to her dad and give him a huge hug, but she knew it would cause trouble with her mom. So she mouthed a silent, “Thank you.”

David winked and nodded, then went back to breaking beans.

Her mom continued to pretend nothing had been said.

When all the work of the day was done Hannah resisted the urge to grab another biscuit as she put them in the fridge for the next day’s work. They always made loads of them for the dressing, but Hannah liked them with a little butter and sometimes a little jam, it was a weakness.

Everyone was heading out for ranch tours, everyone except Samantha. They were going to take turns flying over the ranches and New Parish. All this was to happen before the traditional pizza and charades later. Dave and Sarah were already doing a bit of “clean” trash talk about who was going to win, Hannah had found that very entertaining, all day.

When everyone was gathered back together that evening, TVs were set up in the sitting room off of the kitchen for the kids to watch movies and play video games. Alex’s staircase room was the designated charades room, he hadn’t winced much at giving up his man cave for a couple of days.

There were five teams this year, the scoreboard was a large white board set up in front of Alex’s bar. This was the first time Hannah had her own team. She’d always known it would happen and now that it had, it felt even better than she’d thought it would, “A little weird,” she thought, “But, cool.”

Teams were divided up thusly: David, Samantha, and Beth. Her parents had always claimed Beth for their team because she was the book worm extraordinaire, she was also a librarian and had vast knowledge of all things literature.

They thought it gave them an advantage, Hannah thought it only gave them an advantage when the charade was about some old book or Shakespeare.

The next team was Dave and his wife Tabitha. The third team was Paul and his wife Margie. Next was Sarah’s team, which included Brenda, along with Max, of course, and Myra, and Del. Lastly was Hannah’s team, with her, Alex, Patty, Hope, and Cilla.

Once everyone was in the staircase room, numbers were drawn by the team captains to see what order the teams would present. Dave drew the number one, and smirked at Sarah, who rolled her eyes and drew number three. Hannah’s parents got number two, Paul got four, and Hannah drew five.

As Dave went to the charades bag, sitting on the center table, to draw his first challenge from it, Hannah noticed Alex sitting back relaxed looking amused. She had to smile…

Dave groaned a bit when he pulled the old strip of paper from the bag, then walked over to the designated charades spot at the end of the sitting area. He looked at it again as if he was wishing the words had changed, then placed one hand under his chin to accent his mouth opening as his other hand was behind his back acting as though he were moving a lever up and down. The room was silent with a lot of questioning looks on many faces.

Dave stopped this action and then did something very un-Dave like. He tip toed around with his hands pretending he were daintily holding onto a short skirt.

Everyone burst out in laughter and Myra shouted, “The Nutcracker Ballet!”

Dave sighed and nodded, “Thanks for ending that.”

Sarah jumped up triumphantly and went over to the scoreboard and put a tick mark under her team’s name.

David was next, and pulled out another old looking piece of paper. He slowly unrolled it and stoically read it. Then he looked at the back wall as if in deep thought and his eyes return to the slip of paper. With a sigh, he moved over to the presentation spot. Holding out both hands with a questioning look, he then pointed at himself.

“Who am I?” Beth spoke quietly.

David nodded and began to act very strangely. First, he squatted down and stood back up using his hands in a rising motion. Then he started strutting around like a bird with its chest puffed out. Then he opened his mouth as if he were singing, but with no sound coming out.

The audience went from watching intently to uncontrollable laughter in rotating intervals. There was also rapid whispering among the teams as they tried to figure out the answer.

He returned to the squatting and standing, but this time instead of the rising motion with his hands, he looked as though he were holding them purposefully low and then high. Then he began to pretend he were walking up stairs. After that, he pointed to his chin, and pulled at the loose bit underneath his chin to accent the extra part.

Hannah was at a complete loss, so she just decided to sit back and enjoy the show. She could overhear Sarah’s team whispering about a singing farmer and her Mom and Beth saying something about Fiddler on the Roof, but to her it was just hilarious.

Finally, Myra said, “Tevye?” 

As per the rules David still couldn’t speak, so he held up his index finger on each hand, put them together and then apart.

“Oh,” Samantha said, “that’s only part of the charade.”

“How many words?” Sarah asked.

David held up seven fingers and began to dance around like a bird and as though he were dancing around a large pole.

“Tevye, If I were a Rich Man,” Beth asked tentatively.

“Yes!” David said, exhaustedly.

Sarah stood and looked as though she were scared of what the bag might do to her. She grabbed the bag by the top and shook it really good, looking as though she hoped all the hard ones would be shaken down to the bottom. She drew a slip of paper that looked old and very worn, she sighed even before she unrolled it.

Stepping into the charades arena, Sarah turned to face everyone. Her face held a blank expression, she raised her hands to the top of her head with all fingers pointing up. Her expression changed to one that looked prideful and haughty.

Del asked, “Are you a queen?”

Sarah shook her head in the negative and held her arms up to show muscles and express masculinity. Then she pretended her hands were a book which she opened and closed several times as she pretended to read.

Everyone looked clueless so she changed her approach all together and began pretending to dribble a ball, then she suddenly jumped and pretended an epic slam dunk.

“King James!” Max shouted.

Laughter erupted throughout the room and another tick mark was added to Sarah’s team score.

Charades went late that night. David finally had to intervene and call it done for the night. Sarah’s team was ahead by five and Dave was not happy about it.

The next morning Hannah woke to her alarm blaring loudly and was very tempted to snooze it. Forcing herself up, she quickly showered, dressed, and ran down to meet Sarah, who was coming in the front door as she reached the bottom of the stairs.

That day progressed much the same as the day before, only different foods were made ready for the next day’s feast. There was only one incident, which was between Dave and Brenda. Hannah thought Dave should have known better. Brenda had always been able to promptly put him in his place, or the place she deemed he should be put in. They were running out of places to put the deserts and as they deliberated on where to store them, Dave snidely said, “Maybe we should just keep the best ones and toss the others.” To which Brenda replied, “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought we were trying to solve a problem, I didn’t’ realize you thought it was a moment to be rude.”

Hannah had laughed so hard, not just at what Brenda had said, but at the expression on Dave’s face, which was priceless.

  When the work was finished for the day, they had every fridge in the house full to capacity, every counter top brimming, and five ovens filled with two turkeys and three hams.

Hannah lamented a bit over the smell of food throughout the house, it made her hungry all the time, no matter where she was.

Alex hitched up the big wagon and took everyone for a hay ride that evening before the pizza and charades. Hannah thought it was a really nice respite after the work and before the battle. Max brought his guitar so they sang songs as they rode along the old wagon trail. To Hannah this was a little bit of heaven, she could tell by the expression on Sarah’s face that she was feeling the same.

For the final tally in charades, Sarah’s team won by two points. Dave decided that he and Paul would merge teams for next year’s competition, “It’s only fair. You guys have more people on your teams, creating an unfair advantage over us two person teams.”

“Fine,” David allowed. “You guys can merge next year, but no more complaining this year.”

After her good night hug Hannah went to bed without full recollection of getting there. The alarm once again woke her before she was quite ready to be that way. Yawning, she rolled out of bed, although she was leftover tired, she was excited about the day. Thanksgiving had always been her second favorite holiday, just simply because she knew her family would all be together.”

Find Return to New Parish, New Parish, and Brigham Tea Magazine on Amazon.com at the link below:

https://www.amazon.com/Julie-Worthington/e/B00E6622QO?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3&qid=1569181539&sr=1-3 

   

Hannah’s Thoughts…

We all have our own unique way of thinking about things. Sometimes we know we’re justifying ourselves, but, continue on anyways… Hannah has a lot to sort out, and sometimes she justifies herself too… But, she does have Sarah to keep her honest.

I love the relationship between Sarah and Hannah, I hope you all enjoy it as well!

 

Excerpt from Return to New Parish:

Chapter 6 – Things Change

            “Waking early the next morning Hannah did her best to swipe the vivid memories, of the annoying, recurring dreams, of the old cowboy and his horse, from her mind. She showered and dressed quickly so she would have time to go for a walk before the shopping trip.

            Pulling on her sneakers, she heard a light tapping on the door, it opened and Sarah said, “Hey, I’m glad you’re up.”

            “Oh, yeah, why?” Hannah queried with a “what’s up” look.

            “Mom, called last night,” Sarah said with a raised eyebrow.

            Hannah knew all too well what the raised eyebrow meant. It meant she’d been caught doing something she shouldn’t. She also knew that if her mom had called things were about to change, for better or worse, things were going to change.

            Sarah continued, “She wanted to know how you’re doing and when you plan on heading home. You haven’t told her what you’re planning on doing have you?”

            “Um, no,” Hannah replied a little defensively. “I didn’t want to add any drama to my decisions.”

            “Coward,” Sarah accused her, bluntly.

            Hannah chuckled, “I’ll tell her, eventually.”

            “Han,” Sarah said firmly, “If you can’t tell Mom and Dad what you’re going to do then maybe you shouldn’t do it. This is a very serious commitment, you have to be all in.”

              “Fine, fine,” Hannah sighed. “I’ll call them tonight.”

            “Okay,” Sarah smiled, “We’re leaving at nine.”

            “Cool,” Hannah said as Sarah left her there to dread the call and the changes it would bring.

            Grabbing her coat, scarf, and gloves Hannah went outside. The gardens were all frost covered and when she breathed out there was a white mist where her breath touched the air. Everything seemed too quiet, nothing was moving, no wind, no sound to be heard from any direction. This made Hannah think of the old saying, “calm before the storm.” As she walked past the barn and toward the long driveway that led out of the ranch she wondered, if, there was an impending storm…

            Climbing up on the fence near the end of the driveway, Hannah sat on the top rail. She watched the cows in the pasture, they were standing still, almost like statues. “I guess it’s too cold for them to move around much,” she thought to herself. It was beginning to feel more and more like one of those surreal moments that don’t make sense till later, if ever. It felt almost like time were standing still and waiting for her to get the clue, but she just wasn’t getting it. “Maybe it’s this funk I’ve been in lately,” she pondered to herself. She couldn’t figure out why she was feeling the way she was feeling but decided it wasn’t a bad feeling so she would just file it away for now and sort it out later.

            The sky was starting to light up with a breathtaking array of pastel colors, Hannah sat there on the rail and watched the show. “Time’s not standing still,” she thought, “it’s moving wonderfully ahead.””

Find Return to New Parish, New Parish, and Brigham Tea Magazine on Amazon.com at the link below:

https://www.amazon.com/Julie-Worthington/e/B00E6622QO?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3&qid=1569181539&sr=1-3

   

Little sister Hannah…

I’d like to introduce you to Hannah, if you’ve read my book New Parish, you’ve already met Sarah her older sister. Hannah is the epitome of the sassy Southern girl. Oh, she is respectful and kind, but she has a fiery temper that flares up every now and then. Hannah loves horses she’s ridden horses since she was 9, and used to love watching old cowboy movies with Sarah when there were kids.

Now she’s going to live in a place where there are real cowboys, lots of horses, and maybe something wonderful for her… if she can get over the bad thing that happened…

You can find out all about Hannah, her sassy ways, and the bad thing that happened, in Return to New Parish. Return to New Parish will be out this summer, more details soon!

Until then you can always get acquainted with her sister Sarah in my book New Parish available now on Amazon.com. Brigham Tea Magazine is also available now in digital form on Amazon.com. (Links below)

 

Excerpt from Return to New Parish:

Chapter 2 – Cowboys and Horses

            “The rest of her road trip was peaceful and full of anticipation to see Sarah and her family. She was no longer plagued by the pain of her past. She felt at peace, although she knew the Nathaniel thing was simmering just under the surface, she was determined to cling onto the peace, even if it was temporary.

            As she neared the small community Hannah saw some men and a small boy riding horses across the prairie next to the main road. She also saw that they had a purpose, they were moving a herd of about thirty cows away from the road. One man, an older cowboy, who seemed to be in charge was sitting on his horse, a large impressive palomino, and pointing while the other men were gathering the cows in the direction he wanted them to go in. The sage cowboy made Hannah think of Sam Elliot, whom she had loved in several westerns.

            The boy stayed near the cowboy in charge until the old truck in front of Hannah made a huge bang! It was a very loud backfire, Hannah jumped and shouted, “Dang!” She looked back to the scene she’d been watching to see the boy’s beautiful blond palomino suddenly dart toward the fence opposite the road she was traveling on. The old cowboy was suddenly on the move, his horse quickly caught up with the one the boy was on. He grabbed the reins of the other horse slowing, then stopping the horse. After steadying the boy on his saddle, he patted him on the back reassuringly.

            Hannah smiled, “I’m gonna like it here.” A right turn took her into the community, a few more turns and a couple of miles later and she was pulling up in front of Sarah’s home. It looked like the pictures Sarah had sent her, beautiful gardens surrounding the huge rock face house. She saw the barn, across the drive from the house, and longed to just go out there for a bit. She sighed and decided that saying hello to her sister would be more appropriate, so she got out of her car and stretched. Then she walked up the short walkway to the front door.”

New Parish:

New Parish on Amazon.com

Also available at:

Barnesandnoble.com

Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!

Brigham Tea Magazine:

https://www.amazon.com/Brigham-Tea-Magazine-Julie-Worthington-ebook/dp/B07R92QJT1/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=brigham+tea+magazine&qid=1556905020&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull  

 

Thanksgiving Jetlag

My son and I had loads of fun cooking this year. We made messes and cleaned them up while enjoying the fruits of our labors. We discussed the philosophy of peeling boiled eggs and deciding that sometimes it just doesn’t work out well. There was Christmas music playing in the background and many wonderful aromas to enjoy as the cooking progressed. There was lots of smiles and a bit of laughter…

Two days after Thanksgiving when the cooking is done, the eating is still going on, and the fatigue it still going on… it’s still not over. It’s only the beginning! I’ve always thought of Thanksgiving as a pre-Christmas celebration. I of course don’t mind if others feel differently about it, but to me it has always been that. Two days after Thanksgiving is a time for family and food, and making plans…

So now Christmas plans will be made, well, after the food is gone and we’ve recovered from all that fun…

Here’s a little bit of the end of Sarah’s Thanksgiving from my book New Parish. She’s making plans too…

Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 2 – Undecided

“All the food was ready by two o’clock and everyone was seated. Sarah’s father offered a prayer and the family feast began. The conversations were the completion of many different catch up stories for each of them. Sarah listened quietly and was glad the inquisition on her investigation of plural marriage wasn’t the main topic of their conversations.

            By the end of the meal, when everyone was trying to shove more desert down on top of all the other food Sarah’s dad said, “Sarah, your mom and I talked last night about what you are looking into.”        

            Sarah’s heart sank. She’d hoped the subject would be skipped over… She looked her dad in the eye and braced for impact.

            He continued, “We don’t think it’s a good idea at all, but we love you and always want to be a part of your life, and always want you to be in ours. So, we’ve decided to be conscientious objectors to your choice to live that way, if you choose to do so.”

            Sarah saw the resolve and concern in his face as he talked and was very grateful that he was willing to love her and not cut her off because she might want to be different. Her love and respect for her dad grew at that moment far beyond what it had ever been. With a tear in her eye she said, “Thanks Dad, that really means a lot to me.”

            He nodded and smiled warmly at her. The feast continued with lots of family stories past and present, then on to future goals and wishes. The rest of the time Sarah spent with her family was filled with feelings of uneasy calm. No one else said anymore about her plural marriage research, which was a relief, but for Sarah it had become a constant backburner thing in her mind.

            Trying to settle back into her apartment and routine in Atlanta, Sarah thought it all seemed very empty. Her thoughts turned more and more to New Parish and the things Brother Michael had told her. She was planning on going out there for a few days over the Christmas holidays but was still very unsure of what to expect.”

New Parish available now:

New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com

Also available at:

Barnesandnoble.com

Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thanksgiving is a wonderful reason each year for us to remember to be grateful for all we’ve been blessed with. Gandalf taught us a truly great lesson, “I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.” It’s not the big things, but the small everyday things, not just what we get, but what we give as well… There’s so much to be grateful for this year, family, friends, and New Parish.

The traditional Thanksgivings in the south have always been full of family, food, and cooking for at least two days. This special time together is of course included in my book New Parish. Sarah’s Georgia family and her new Arizona family get together for Thanksgiving and things get very interesting. Here’s a small peek into their Thanksgiving…

 

Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 12 – Home

“The next morning Sarah and Hannah were back in the kitchen early, preparing the cinnamon rolls that would call everyone to action. The morning frenzy of cooking and mixing was in full on assault. Sarah smiled as she watched her mom and thought, “She’s so loving this.” Then she heard her dad shout, “Hot stuff coming through!” which was his usual battle cry when he took the turkey out of the oven. It always made everyone laugh as he feigned innocence as to why they were laughing.

            By four o’clock the tables were set, and everyone was seated. David said a prayer of gratitude for food and family, then the feast began.”   

 

From all of us in New Parish to all of you, we hope you all have the best Thanksgiving ever!

 

New Parish available now:

New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com

Also available at:

Barnesandnoble.com

Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)

Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ

Coming soon to many new bookstores!

 

 

Family…

Family means many different things to many different people. Some people think of groups of friends they belong to as family, others think of simply those they have a blood relationship with as family. Families come in all shapes and sizes, whether they are created by blood or other bonds… Families can have a single parent or many parents. Either way, family is always the place we call home, family is the place we find shelter from the storms of life, and family always include the people we love and who will be there for us. I think of it as an unwritten code – they don’t have to help you or be supportive… they just do.

My book New Parish is all about family… Sarah grows up in one kind of family, and decides to enter into another kind of family. This change creates a whole new dynamic for her old family and her new family… in the end they do what families do… they just do.

 

Excerpt from New Parish:

Chapter 6 – The Return (Sarah and her parents arriving in New Parish)

“Laden with luggage they all entered Brother Michael’s house, “Sarah! Oh it’s so good to see you again, Sweetie!” Susan came running up and gave her a big hug. Then shouted, “Sarah’s here!” toward the hallway in front of the entry.

            It looked like the house had began to ooze people, they poured in from every direction. Sarah was busy getting and giving hugs when she noticed her mom’s expression, it was one of sheer terror.

            Sarah suppressed a giggle and said, “Everyone, this is my mom and dad.”

“Here,” Brother Michael said placing the bags he had on the floor and taking charge, “Let me introduce you to my wives and you’ll catch the kids names eventually. This is Marla, Michelle, Lisa, Karen, Susan, Sharon, and Ann. Ladies this is David and Samantha Nichols.”

            Sarah almost burst out laughing when she looked at her dad’s expression, he was at another cross, this one was a cross between amusement and disbelief. Her mom looked even more traumatized, but graciously shook hands with each of Brother Michael’s wives as she was introduced.

            They were given a tour of the house, and shown the bedroom where Sarah would be sharing with Mary. All the while Sarah was suppressing giggles, her mom’s look of shock and her dad’s look of amusement was totally entertaining her. After the tour her dad was taken outside to see the huge pond where Brother Michael was encouraging wild geese and other migratory birds to stop over – and Sarah’s mom went up to her bedroom to help unpack her things.

When Mary stepped out for a moment to go get something Samantha said, “I honestly thought you were joking about him having that many wives.” She looked at Sarah with uncertainty in her expression and continued, “I could just pinch your father! He thinks it’s all uniquely charming. He’d better not get any ideas!””

Chapter 12 – Home (Part of the Thanksgiving gathering for both of Sarah’s families)

            “The next morning Sarah was up early so she could make her grandmother’s cinnamon rolls with Hannah and so she could get a hot shower before everyone got up and pilfered all the hot water. The kitchen was quiet when she entered but Hannah arrived soon after, they started the Christmas playlist – which always had to be playing when the family was preparing Thanksgiving food.  Then they began rolling out the yeast rolls and preparing them for the sprinkling of yummy stuff.

            “So I met this guy,” Hannah smiled slyly at Sarah. “He’s got promise, I think.”

            “Awesome! Tell me all about him!” Sarah demanded.

             Hannah giggled and said, “He’s a returned missionary, attending BYU like me, and he’s taking some programming classes with me. He’s really smart, and gets almost as good of grades as I do.”

            “He sounds okay,” Sarah smiled, “What’s he like? You know, sense of humor, common sense, financially responsible? That sort of thing, oh yeah and is he gorgeous?”

            “He’s very gorgeous!” Hannah smiled. “He’s got a good sense of humor sometimes he thinks he’s funnier than he is, but it’s good though, he’s cute and can pull it off.” She shrugged and continued, “I don’t know about common sense or finances yet, I only met him a couple of months ago.”

            “Ah, still in the early stages huh? Well make sure you be careful,” Sarah said in a big sisterly way.

            “Of course,” Hannah smiled and intentionally bumped Sarah’s arm to make her spill the cinnamon, “You too.”

            They both laughed and continued to sprinkle the rolled out yeast rolls with sugar and cinnamon. Not long after the cinnamon rolls were in the oven, there was a trickle of family invading the kitchen, the trickle soon turned into a flood with everyone present. The aroma of the cinnamon rolls had emanated from the kitchen and called the family together. As they began indulging in the wonderful treats, they were given their assignments for the day. There was so much food to be prepared for tomorrow’s feast that it would keep everyone busy, all day.

            The work began even before the cinnamon rolls were eaten. Most of the workers were holding a cinnamon roll in one hand, (or in their mouth), and doing the food prep single handedly. As the day went on they all were snacking on the food they were working on, so there was no reason to make lunch. It was a just grab something and keep working sort of thing, which was their usual for this day.

            Sarah noticed her mom enjoying the fact that there were thirteen more kids calling her, Grandma. She thought that maybe her mom was beginning to soften on the plural marriage situation, maybe. She decided to test the waters by asking, “So, how do you like being grandma to a bunch more kids?”

            Samantha smiled, “Oh its nice.” She paused letting the thick syrup she was pouring over the sweet potatoes drizzle into some areas that were not as drenched with the stuff then continued, “They’re really sweet kids, and so beautiful.” She looked at Sarah and asked, “How do you like being a mom?”

            “I’m loving it!” Sarah replied enthusiastically.

            “Are you still wanting to have a baby?” her mom inquired.

            “Yes,” Sarah answered reluctantly. “It just hasn’t happened yet.”

            “Oh,” Samantha looked concerned. “I didn’t know you were already trying.”

            Sarah shrugged, not really wanting to talk about this bit of sore frustration in her life.

            “Sometimes these things take time,” her mom consoled. “It’s easier to make a baby by accident than to plan on it.”

            Sarah smiled and admitted, “Max said I should try to chill about it. But I really want a baby. I’m a bit frustrated over it, and can’t really find a way to chill.”

            “It’ll happen,” her mom smiled at her.”  

Do you want to find out for yourself what happens next? New Parish is now available on Amazon.com

Simply search New Parish by Julie Worthington or follow the link below…

https://www.amazon.com/New-Parish-Julie-Worthington/dp/1732224005/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1530209993&sr=8-1&keywords=new+parish+by+julie+worthington

 

Thanksgiving in New Parish & Brigham Tea Magazine – Wild Desert

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! I’ve always found that it’s not just the turkey that got stuffed on Thanksgiving… This holiday is about families coming together and really spending time together, catching up, and finding out what’s been going one with each other. Whether they live near or far, this is the holiday that brings them together… it’s that way for Sarah and her family each year.

The next section of Brigham Tea I’m sharing with you is the Wild Desert. It’s all about the western desert, the places, plant life, and the critters. Hope you enjoy the slide show…

New Parish Coming Soon! Summer of 2018! Excerpt from New Parish:

“Everyone went into Thanksgiving mode … and food prep was the main activity consuming everyone’s time, down to the smallest three year old who was transporting fruit to the salad area. After so many years of working together on Thanksgiving dinner they all knew what to do and did it with almost perfect precision. Christmas music was playing and children were happily giggling about the mess that was all over. This was the one time everyone was happy to make a huge mess – the rewards were always worth it.

           

The menu included:

The largest turkey they could find

Two hams crusted over with honey, brown sugar and pineapple

Green beans with butter, sea salt, and sprinkled slightly with sugar

Candied yams with cinnamon

Potato salad

Cranberry sauce from a can

Southern dressing which was made out of biscuit bread and cornbread with sage, sweet onion, chicken broth and shredded chicken

Giblet gravy to go over the dressing made with chicken broth, cornstarch to thicken, salt, pepper, and bits of boiled egg and chicken

Corn prepared in a skillet with butter, sea salt, and pepper

Yeast rolls which they never did from scratch the frozen ones were fine

The deserts always included:

Chocolate pies

Cheesecakes

Chocolate chip cookies

Sugar cookies decorated with Christmas icing

Fruit salad which always had pineapple, cherries, bananas, grapes, nuts, cream cheese, and whipped topping

            This menu took the whole family two days to prepare and everyone had leftovers to take home with them after the dinner. Because leftovers are a necessity after Thanksgiving, or at least that was their family philosophy.”