Grateful. Blessed.

Those words are a meager attempt to describe the many things Jeremy and I have to be thankful for this year.

I pondered which blessing I should opine about this week on our long drive home from Delaware, and couldn’t decide which was more deserving. Was it the mountains of delicious Thanksgiving fare my mother-in-law, Kathy, slaved over – even after her oven quit working? Or perhaps the bouts of belly-splitting laughter that occurred over highly competitive games of Dominos. I shouldn’t neglect to mention how Kathy cooked an entire Thanksgiving dinner dairy free just for me. Yes, I missed the butter this year, but it was still yummy!

We do Christmas with Jeremy’s family at Thanksgiving. The tree was already decorated and pilers of presents were stacked neatly beneath it when we arrived. The house smelled of fresh-baked cookies and the clean, cool sheets felt wonderful after a long 13 hours on the road.

Avery Kate couldn’t have had a more perfect Thanksgiving and ‘first Christmas’ at grandma and grandpa’s house this year. She received everything on her Christmas wish list and possibly more.

The trip home was grueling though. Jeremy and I quickly learned we don’t have the stamina for two all-nighters four days apart. And, there was no “room in the inn” for us when we couldn’t see straight any longer. We dozed in a parking lot or two in the wee hours of the morning. I’m thankful for traveling mercies, most likely due to Kathy’s prayers over us on the way home.

When we arrived home deliriously in need of sleep, another angel was just a call away.

Can you come get Avery Kate?


Mama and Daddy got four hours of blessed sleep, just enough to recharge our batteries for the work week ahead.

I could go on and on counting my blessings one by one.

What do they all have in common? The love and generosity of family and friends. We’re never without someone to help when we’re overwhelmed or just tuckered out.

Looking at a photo of Avery Kate during her Sunday play date with two little girls who I’m sure will become lifelong friends, I was reminded of an old Sunday School tune: “When we all pull together, together ... the happier we’ll be.”

Lord knows, we’ve all needed a helping hand this year. And, we can all use a bit of cheer. Maybe if we “pull together” we’ll find it this holiday season. Take my hand and let’s see.

• Sarah Tarr Gove is news editor of The Blackshear Times. Email her at