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Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

I don’t usually do any kind of gratitude posts because it all seems so artificial. Why give thanks on one day just because the calendar says to? I am, however, thankful for many things on most days. Once in awhile things get to the point where I cannot think of anything to be thankful for. Luckily, that doesn’t last too long and I am soon back to having things to list as what I am grateful for.

I made it to Seattle. Last year I was sick and had to abort plans to come up so I stayed home alone, and sick, for Thanksgiving. Not this year! And this year I have a new grandbaby, Mati. Of course, I am also thankful for the other two grandboys! In fact, I would have to say that my three grandchildren and the one on the way are my blessings. They make life livable. On the days that I can’t think of a thing to be grateful for, they are what keep me going.

I am also thankful for my health. I still have a lot of health issues but after the major surgery in 2015, much has been resolved and I don’t take that at all lightly. I’m very thankful that things worked out as they did and I ended up at a top rate hospital that was finally able to diagnose and fix a lot of what was wrong.

My friends, family, and each of my blog readers, also have to be on that list. Even though many are “virtual friends,” you couldn’t be anymore true if you were standing right here next to me. You keep my eyes open and focused on things outside of my world. You keep me on my toes.

It is important to remember, daily, that, while our own world may not perfect, we each have something in our world that others don’t have. There are so many that have nothing, or very little at all. Be thankful for what you have and remember that you have far more than many, many people.

I guess that will do it for my Thanksgiving post this year. I am off to join everyone else upstairs and have a second cup of coffee and some much needed water! For now, I hope you enjoy your day, whether it is officially a Thanksgiving Day or not, remember to be thankful even for the smallest of things!

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I was doing a lesson about Thanksgiving with Anderson. We watched some kid videos on the first Thanksgiving and about the pilgrims landing at Plymouth. We talked about what it means to be grateful or thankful for something and about what we each could list as what we are thankful for. He made a turkey out of construction paper and we listed something to be thankful for on each feather.

One thing stands out for me from this lesson that I can’t really discuss much with my six year old grandson. Not yet. But I will get there. What is it?

When the pilgrims arrived, they arrived sick. They spread their disease to the natives who had no resistance to any illnesses coming from Europe. So they died. A lot of them died. And what did Squanto do after most of his people died? He helped the pilgrims learn to hunt and plant things they could harvest for the winter. He helped them to learn how to fight the cold and snow that would come in the winter. And when the pilgrims decided to feast, the tribe came and brought them food.

And what did “we” do? We not only brought them diseases they could not fight but we also took their land and drove them to isolated and barren lands; lands that would bear no crops to sustain them; lands that were harsh. And it continues today as “we” take their sacred land and water and dignity. We take and take and take some more and forget the spirit of giving and helping that the natives showed “us” that first Thanksgiving.

Talk about a sickness.

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weekendcoffeeshare

 

If we were having coffee, I would invite you in out of the briskness that is outside and offer a drink. I’m having my first cup of coffee of the day. That’s late for me. It’s almost 1:30 pm.  It’s because I couldn’t sleep last night so I didn’t fall asleep until some time after 7 this morning and woke up shortly before 11. I stayed in bed because I am just exhausted. Being sick has wiped me out.  I hope you have been healthy!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the whole week has felt like a lost week. I’ve been alone all week. (Well, the whole month actually because I’ve been sick since just before Halloween.) My daughter popped in for about 30 seconds on Tuesday morning when she brought me some vitamins and supplements to help get over this cold. Yesterday I finally felt like I was about half human. I took myself to Denny’s for a belated but much appreciated turkey dinner! And then I treated myself to my favorite Thanksgiving food item: pumpkin pie! Then back home where I sat on the couch and read until I finished the book I was reading.

I would also have to tell you that the book I was reading, When Mockingbirds Sing by Billy Caffey, turned out to be far better than I thought it would be. It’s a little story but it is filled with many thought provoking moments. I highly recommend it. Here’s a quote: “They came if for no other reason than to remind themselves that they had stood up when they wanted to lie down and believed when all that was scattered before them called for doubt.”

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week has had me thinking and re-thinking about a lot of things. Some of those may spill out onto this blog in the coming days.  Also, for December, I usually post my Christmas stories which take up a post a day for most of the month. I think that I am going to try to take some of those and rewrite them from a different point of view and see if I get some “new stories” to share with you. I will probably still post some of my favorites and Christmas day will bring my favorite one, about the Christmas night I was born. I hope you stick with me for my favorite month of the year.

I found myself listening to holiday music on Thanksgiving day and then streaming my favorite holiday movie, It’s A Wonderful Life that night. I promised Anderson that I would wait for him to get back after Thanksgiving to start decorating so we’ll be doing that together.

What have you been up to? Did you have a quiet Thanksgiving or was yours one of family stories and laughter? Did you travel? How was your weather? Books to recommend? Do you have a favorite holiday movie?

This week has me traveling to Omaha to see what it’s like before we decide if we want to move there or not but I will have something to post on so I’ll still be around the blog, even if it’s only picture posts. Have a super week. Stay healthy.

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#WeekendCoffeeShare is a weekly blog hop hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster. Hop over and take a look at her post then click here to check out other Weekend Coffee Sharers. We’re a fun group. Come join us!

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Gratefully

Today I am missing those that I am most grateful for.  My family. I ended up staying home so I don’t expose anyone to this “long lasting bug” I’ve had for over a month.  So I’m alone and thinking about them. I’m glad they’re together at least.

I’m also grateful that I raised three really super kids. My youngest, Susie, is off to Baltimore today. Her friend’s mom died and the funeral is tomorrow but because of the holiday weekend, none of the extended family is attending the funeral so Susie’s friend was going to be alone for the funeral. Susie flew out to be with her so she wouldn’t be alone. She gave up her Thanksgiving to be with a friend in need. What a wonderful person I raised.

My son and daughter-in-law are hosting both families this year, again. And they will also have “orphans” that have no where to go for the holiday. They welcome them like family, with open arms.  And Tina is picking up the stuff I was supposed to take but can’t because I’m staying home. She and her family were already in Tacoma when I decided it was best for everyone if I stayed home instead of going up to Seattle, otherwise she would have stayed home with me.

I’m glad Tina and Tony and their families are together today. I’m glad Susie is with her friend. And I am grateful that these amazing people came from me and are spreading their goodness to others.

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you and your families, whether you celebrate or not. May you have many things to be grateful for today and every day of the year.

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Today I drove home from my son’s house where we had gone for Thanksgiving.  It should only take about 3 1/4 hours but it took over 4 1/2 hours this morning.  Rain. Rain. Rain.  Oh, and then the wind.  The rain was coming down not in sheets but in blankets!  Although the speed limit was 70, no one, not even the proverbial hot rodders that think they are Mario Andretti, was driving above 45.  Luckily, everyone was leaving a lot of room between their car and the others.  That part was good.

I’m getting too old to make this drive without a lot of rest between the drive up and back home.  I think I need a few days to recuperate between the drives.  I’m not only tired when I begin the trip home, I’m exhausted when I arrive.  And then there is the stress.  The stress of the drive knocks me out.  Today, I got home, sat on the couch and the next thing I knew, it was three hours later.  I had fallen asleep.  Then I had to go out to unload the car but it was raining so hard that I had to come back in and wait til it let up a bit.

I know I’m complainig. I shouldn’t.  It was wonderful to be included in my son and daughter-in-law’s Thanksgiving celebration and also that my daughter and grandsons were also included.  That was a bonus.  I’m also glad we took two cars. They still aren’t back yet as they stopped to see her in-laws along the route back.

Now I wait for Christmas when I’ll do it all over again.  For Christmas, the bonus will be that my youngest daughter will also be coming so we will all be together.  That makes the drive worthwhile.  And I’m not doing it one day up and the next day back down.  I’ll have three days between the up and down!  Of course it will also mean that I will be a year older as I will have a birthday on Christmas so yes, I’ll probably feel a lot older!

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Thanksgiving in 1992 was a turning point for my family.

On the fifteenth, just eleven days before Thanksgiving, my husband of many years walked out the door saying he needed time and space to himself so he could figure out if he still wanted to be married to me. For Thanksgiving, we still weren’t sure what was going on, or at least the three kids and I weren’t sure. I had not told my family that he had left. I learned before I even married that I should keep any problems with my husband from my family or they would be very harsh on him. So I didn’t tell them. His family didn’t know either. I felt it was his place to tell them and he didn’t want to tell them. That left the kids and I with nothing to do for Thanksgiving. I wanted it to be a special day for the kids and I was still very much numb. So I did the only thing I could think of. I took the kids to Disneyland.

I reserved the Disneyland Hotel for Thanksgiving night and the kids and I drove to Anaheim late Thanksgiving morning. We checked into the hotel then went to the theme park. We had not gotten to make our reservations for Thanksgiving dinner in one of the restaurants and they were full so we decided on a Thanksgiving buffet with the Disney characters visiting the tables. No reservation required for that but because we were hotel guests, we got to cut ahead of the line when we got there. So we stayed in the theme park for a while and when it was time for dinner, we headed for the buffet outside the park, next to the hotel.

The kids loved it. They got to pick what they wanted from the buffet and leave the rest behind. The wait staff was incredibly friendly. We were alone but we weren’t. There were lots of people around and everyone one was in a great mood. Strangers helped me get the kids’ plates filled and carried back to our table. Then during dinner the characters came around to the tables. My eight year old was crazy about Tigger and was delighted when he came to our table and my two year old was all over Minnie Mouse! My son was eleven then and he was the best helper I could ever wish for. He helped with his sisters and he helped get me through the day. He could intuit Mom’s sadness as well as my need to make things as special for them as possible.

After dinner it was a walk around the grounds and then back to the rides in the theme park. We watched the last parade of the evening then headed for the hotel. The kids watched Disney movies for free on the hotel TV and later on we ordered a late night room service snack. The kids thought it was very special to order hot chocolate and cookies from room service.

The three kids had a blast and I got the satisfaction of knowing that at least on that day, my kids were happy. That year, the first one the three kids and I spent alone together, I was most thankful for being able to keep my kids from the harsh realities that were about to hit our family.

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This year Thanksgiving will be very different. Usually, the three kids and I are all together. I don’t think we’ve missed any years of being together until now. My son will be with his girlfriend and her family in the SF bay area (700 miles from me) and my daughter will be with her boyfriend and his family also in the SF bay area. My older daughter and I will be in our new homes in the Portland area. I was supposed to cook for the two of us and for my daughter’s friends but at the last minute she decided to come and get everything from me and take it to her apartment where she and her friend will do all the cooking. I just have to show up. Well, I am making an apple pie and candied yams at home then taking them to her apartment across town. I’m not sure which I would rather do, all the cooking or driving across town.

When she and her friend were here to pick up all the food so they could fix it tomorrow, I was thinking about how our traditions have changed to accommodate our changing family over the years. When I was growing up, we just had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, yams, rolls, and pumpkin pie. When I married my husband’s family had all the same things but added green beans, peas, olives, a second version of candied yams, coleslaw, corn, apple pie, and sometimes mince meat pie. When I divorced and the kids became pickier, we added macaroni and cheese to the mix. When my daughter was here, she kept pulling out more and more stuff from the pantry. I asked who was going to eat it and she said, “But we always have it.” True, but we normally have a couple of other people. So we cut a few things that that the three and possibly four of us won’t eat tomorrow. Still, we will have an awful lot of food.

This year we won’t have to fix a tofurkey (yes, you read that right; it’s a tofu turkey). My younger daughter is vegetarian so we usually have turkey and tofurkey. We usually have ham, too because my older daughter loves ham. We’re doing without this year. We’ll save it for Christmas dinner. And this year there aren’t any minors to drink the six bottles of Martinelli’s that I bought, forgetting we didn’t really need all that. I’m set for the next three Christmases and by then my youngest will be 21 and will drink wine with us.

I guess I’m feeling a bit down. I’m missing the two that won’t be with us. I think I’ll miss them even more tomorrow. I’m starting not to like being so far away from them. At least if the economy weren’t so bad, there’d be more money and they could fly up here for the holiday but not this year.

Who and what are YOU missing this holiday?

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