TIME OUT WITH LOIS: This Thanksgiving, consider inviting someone who is alone

One year we had a very untraditional Thanksgiving. We spent the holiday in a Forest Service cabin at the foot of the Crazy Mountains. My folks got the idea the summer before and reserved the cabin. It had two bedrooms and a kitchen with some cooking equipment. The privy was out back. The winter supply of wood was stacked on the porch. This was one of many Forest Service cabins throughout our state that can be rented for a very small daily fee.

Lois Olmstead


My mom cooked the turkey in a barbecue outside the cabin. Steaming pans of potatoes and vegetables sat on camping stoves on the porch. Inside, two long tables were set for our feast. Paper plates were the only sign that we were roughing it this year.

Family and friends gathered around the table. We sang “We Glorify the Lord” and read the 111th Psalm. Then we bowed our heads to thank the Lord for all His blessings.

Either the mountain air or the magnificent scenery, (or maybe the cooks) made this the most delicious Thanksgiving feast we have ever eaten. After dinner some took naps. Others went for hikes. The hunters went out looking for those elusive elk. A marvelous day.

This is an encouragement for you to plan an untraditional holiday dinner. If the mountain cabin is not open to you, choose a state campground, the beach or a lodge with cabins. There are lots of public facilities available. Spread some joy around you. Stretch your imagination. Get your friends involved. Put some surprises in your holiday plans. It will build joyful memories.

Most communities do Thanksgiving well. In our area, a free community dinner is served. Some folks I know are traveling to Billings to help with the Montana Rescue Mission Dinner, where hundreds of folks will be served a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Other people are opening their homes to neighbors and friends. Still others have dinners at their churches.

Some businesses or service clubs give boxes of food to families. It reinforces our feeling that this country is a great place to live.

However, in the process of patting ourselves on the back, we need to be careful. These days many people live a distance from relatives. Shift work means first responders and some workers will be spending Thanksgiving Day at their job. Other families might be going through painful times.

Is there a friend, a co-worker, or a neighbor nearby who has not yet been invited to share a Thanksgiving dinner? Just be careful cooking the turkey.

One time we had our family and some friends at our house. There were 23 of us. I cooked the turkey. I did good until I tried to find the red pop-up thing to see if the turkey was done. We found it. I had the turkey upside down. The red pop up thing was drowned. I said it wasn’t my fault. If they can grow a turkey with a done button they ought to be able to put a “This Side Up” label on it as well!

You still have time to make this Thanksgiving celebration truly special. Give some of those folks who will be alone a call and say “Would you like to come to our house? We can pull another chair up to the table just for you.” I know you can make Thanksgiving 2017 one of the best ever.

Use Psalm 95 for your blessing. It says, “Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come to Him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to Him.”

Please enjoy this Thanksgiving week. I am starting right now. You readers make writing this column a joy! I thank God for you.    


EDITOR’S NOTE: Lois Olmstead is an inspirational speaker and author who lives in the Shields Valley. Email her at loiso@wispwest.net or visit www.timeoutwithlois.com.