Saturday, November 28, 2015

Every Day Should Be Special

Thanksgiving was full of moments to savor this year. We started Wednesday evening when my daughters and Ash's boyfriend Rob arrived, all in a festive mood to enjoy one another's company. I prepared a few ready to eat foods, from a crock pot full of sweet and sour meatballs, to cheeses and crackers, and fruit and nut salad.... Since everyone was arriving at different times, this allowed nibbling on hot and cold dishes of whatever appealed to them as they walked through the door. Later we had a wonderful time visiting over the delicious pecan pie Rob brought. Then we got up Thanksgiving morning, put the turkey in the oven, and my daughters and I divided up the cooking jobs. Everyone made a dish or two of our family favorites. As we sat around the table, I couldn't help but remember all the people who had sat at that table in the past, eaten off those plates, and drank sparkling cider from those goblets. I'm so grateful for these people who have been a part of my life, past and present!

Later that night as we ate our pumpkin and pecan pies, I decided it was silly to keep these dishes for such infrequent use. From now on these pretty plates will come out for birthdays, job promotions, and any other special life moments. Do you have "good china" that you're ready to enjoy more often than on the holidays?

We  took a drive to Carmel-by-the-Sea after dinner, stopping at the cemetery with a bouquet of flowers. We enjoyed movies that evening,  and games last night, before everyone headed home.

The girls asked if I wanted help decorating for Christmas while they were home, but I just wasn't ready to move into the Christmas decor yet. I wanted to savor one more weekend of the autumn decor, the rustic fall colors, that feeling of gratitude in the air. So it will wait another week, or at least another day. Hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is just a few sleeps away, and I wanted to tell you how grateful I am for my family and friends. We are so blessed to have one another, to live normal (well, at least I think we're normal), hopefully healthy lives, to have hope for the future, and fond memories to keep us company through long winters. Best of all we have each other to enjoy today, in the moment.

When I was growing up, we always had big Thanksgiving dinners with aunts and uncles and cousins. My mom and her siblings took turns having it at their houses. We usually needed two or three tables "with all the leaves," Mom would say, to accommodate everyone. After dinner we would take a walk, then play board games. Through the years my siblings and I married and moved away, as did our cousins. Aunts and uncles passed away, then my own parents passed away. Now our Thanksgivings are much quieter, smaller affairs. It's a different era. I treasure those memories of the big dinners with relatives, but find myself in the position of creating new traditions with my daughters. We still eat in the dining room with the "good china," and all of us pitch in on the cooking. We still play games, after dinner. There are family recipes we always make. It honors those who went before, it honors those who may someday arrive into our lives, that we keep these traditions.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with "in the moment" moments! If you are with loved ones, really listen. Share your stories. If you are alone, talk to God, talk to your pets, talk to the pictures of those who have passed on. Let everyone know how much you love them. Let's give thanks.