Blog, throwback thursday

Throwback Thursday #65 – You Don’t Have to Be American to be Thankful Today

Happy Thanksgiving fellow bloggers – wherever you are! Since Lauren is cooking Thanksgiving and I am not, I volunteered to post today. I am posting a day early since so many people may be otherwise occupied tomorrow.

This week’s prompt is: Being Thankful

Since today is Thankgiving in the U.S. I thought it would be good to think back to your childhood, your family life, and the place where you were raised and reflect a little. Out of that reflection, simply write something about your past you are thankful for today. It can be one thing or many – that is totally up to you. Feel free to share an old photo or a simple remembrance. My response is below.

May peace and gratitude find you wherever you are today.

This will come as no surprise to those kind enough to follow my blog. One of the reasons I write about nostalgia so much is because it makes me happy. I am reminded of times that were simpler when I was surrounded by all the people I now miss so much.

I am so thankful for my memories. They keep a part of me alive that has long since passed. The memories can be fleeting so I hold on to the few pieces that provide tangible proof they are real! Photos, letters, and little momentos whose touch and smell cause memories to come flooding back.

I am thankful I remember the smell of honeysuckle, the feel of a touch-me-not popping in my hand, and the earthy deliciousness of a freshly cracked black walnut.

I am thankful I can sometimes hear little snippets of the voices of my family. My Dad’s voice rings crystal clear.

I am thankful for the advice of my sisters that still echoes in my mind even though they are no longer with me.

I am thankful I lived a simple life that helped me to realize the importance of people over things.

I am thankful for the mistakes made on holidays that taught me not to take life too seriously. The turkey cooked with the giblets and paper bag still inside the cavity. The gravy that never got thick so it went down the sink instead of to the table. The pasta that tipped over and slid across the kitchen floor. The fudge that had to be eaten with a spoon. Go ahead and make the mistakes – they turn into the best memories! ❤️

Today, I am thankful for the family and friends, near and far, that make up my tribe. Their numbers may be small, but their worth is immeasurable.

Enjoy this article by Rick Bragg that appeared in Southern Living magazine in 2011. It says everything about the perfect Thanksgiving.

Magazine article.


Throwback Thursday #14 – Holiday Meals

Lauren is our hostess this Thanksgiving week and she chose a great topic – whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not. The idea of a holiday meal includes any holiday occasion your family celebrates. That covers a lot of ground.

To participate, head over to Lauren’s post, read the rules and join in. Lauren gives a little guidance to get the creative juices flowing:

This week’s prompt is: Holiday Meals.  While most people, here in the U.S.  have the typical Thanksgiving turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, not everyone follows the crowd. Think back to holiday meals you participated in when you were younger. Feel free to write about Thanksgiving, or any other holiday meal you choose. Please share any items of food that you or others might feel are out of the ordinary. Do you have memories of any special or surprise guests that came to any of your holiday meals? Did you ever have a catastrophic holiday meal?  Do you still carry on the same holiday meal traditions you had as a kid, or have you changed things up? Are you now typically the host or hostess for meals (sans Covid) or do you usually participate as a guest? Does your family like to go out for holiday meals, or do you prefer to stay at home? Is your table setting different for holiday meals? Do you decorate the whole house as part of your mealtime mood? Please share some memories of your special holiday meals.

This year we had a small gathering – just my son and his children. My husband fried a turkey outside and I cooked all the traditional holiday side dishes. Our meals have a southern influence, so we include collard greens cooked with smoked turkey wings. I make my grandmother’s cranberry (Jello) salad too. My grandson requested I make carrot cake this year, so I passed on making a pumpkin pie. My husband always asks for a blueberry cheesecake, too, so there is no shortage of desserts. We added a new pre-Thanksgiving tradition this year. My husband bought a portable firepit and Thanksgiving eve we gathered around the fire and made S’mores which the kids loved!

Thinking back to years past a few memories rise to the surface. Dinners at my maternal grandmother’s were always big. All the women would gather in the kitchen to prepare the meal. When it was time to eat, the adults would be seated at the long dining room table my grandfather made, while the plethora of grandchildren would be relegated to any spot they could find, from the piano bench to the long steps that led to the bedrooms. Plates were balanced precariously on our knees.

My father was an only child, so dinner at my paternal grandparents was quite different. My grandmother used her “good” China and everyone sat together in the dining room. On the rare occasion our second and third cousins joined us, there was another table in the utility room when the children ate.

Easter dinner always included a 3D cake shaped like a lamp covered in white frosting and coconut. My sister inherited the Griswold cake mold and used it for years until it was lost in a move across country. I thought about buying one of the molds and found one on sale on ETSY, but at the price of $325 I decided against it.

I do not have a lot of memories of holiday dinners with my nuclear family because I think we were always at one of my grandparents’ houses. I do recall one year when we had Thanksgiving in our house in Ohio. I remember it well, because a man was there installing new tile in our bathroom. Odd, I know. The man tiling the bathroom kept coming in to check on the progress of the game because his son was playing for one of the football teams.

I remember one Thanksgiving when my ex mother-in-law came to visit. I was just about to stuff the turkey when she startled me as she almost screamed and said ”aren’t you going to take the lungs out?” I did not know the turkey had lungs, but they haunted me from that day forward!

One Thanksgiving I was at my father’s and my step-mom was making the turkey. Half way through the bake time, we lost power and my dad decided he would just finish the bird on the charcoal grill. Ha! I don’t think we had turkey that year. A few years later, we were again there for Thanksgiving. Everyone was seated at the table when my step-mom came into the dining room carrying the beautifully baked turkey. As she got to the edge of the table, she made an abrupt turn and went back into the kitchen. It seems she had baked the turkey with the entire bag of giblets in the cavity and she was horrified when she saw it!

I remember one very sad Thanksgiving. It was the year I was divorced and my children left to spend Thanksgiving with my ex and his parents. I did not cook just for myself. I stayed in my pajamas and watched tv all day, feeling rather sorry for myself. It was the only Thanksgiving I ever spent alone and I vowed to never do it again.

There have been so many lovely family holiday meals in my life. I have truly been blessed. We are always thankful when included at the table of friends and family. The best meals are those enjoyed with the people we love.


Thanksgiving – #WATWB

Image that says we are the worldIt is the last Friday of the month of November and the day after Thanksgiving in America – a perfect  time to share the good news happening throughout the world.

We all know 2020 has been difficult. So much loss. So many companies and businesses going out of business and so many personal celebrations cancelled.

So where’s the good news? Well, some of it lies with a couple that decided to cancel their plans for a lovely wedding reception because of the pandemic. They married without the normal hoopla but the deposit for the caterer was non-refundable.

That’s when they decided to use that money to purchase 200 meals to help a local non-profit provide a nice Thanksgiving meal for their clients.

Read their story here.

Want to read more good news or join in the effort to contribute to the spreading of good news throughout the world?

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One Liner Wednesday – Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in America. I read an article about all the empty chairs that will be around America’s tables this year. It is sobering to consider what the loss of over a quarter of a million people means to families across our country. The numbers are so large now we use words like ‘over’ and I often to think about how many individual families are contained in that four-letter word.

It is Staggering.

Yet, this holiday is meant for us to think about what we have to be thankful and grateful for and I do have a lot. With such a difficult year, it is easy to lose track of that.

For those of you that lost friends and loved ones to the pandemic, my heart breaks along with yours. I wish I had words that might bring you comfort and truly express my heartfelt sadness for your loss.

I have hope for what lies ahead for us. Hope that our country will find its center again. Many of us have felt so lost in the political mire of the current administration. There is much to heal from.

There appear to be three viable vaccines on the horizon. If we can continue the efforts and the struggle and find patience a little longer, perhaps we will see a better year ahead of us.

I am such a family oriented person this time has been particularly lonely for me. I am so thankful for the phone calls and videos and Zoom calls that have kept us in touch. I miss the hugs so much and when I think about it, I am so grateful they love me enough to stay at a distance and keep us safe.

My husband, my partner, my loving companion throughout this year – I do not know what I would have done with him. He made my world seem somewhat normal every day. To sit and chat over morning coffee, stretching the morning as long as possible has been a blessing. He created a space for me to make jewelry which has been wonderful. He has picked up the majority of our groceries and has cooked as many meals as I have. I am so thankful for him.

I have been fortunate to have a few very dear and very close friends I can call on at any time. It has been so comforting to know I have good friends only a phone call away. We laugh, we cry, we talk and sometimes silence even takes over for a few minutes. It is a good feeling to have this closeness when the world can seem so harsh.

My children delight me with texts and calls and it has helped us stay close. Sometimes it is just a photo or a funny meme, but it is also sometimes a deep and moving chat and those are the best. It is definitely a time to make the best of the hand we have been dealt.

And here? This blogging community? What a wonderful community of people. I definitely give thanks for all of you and the gifts you have brought into my life.

Yes, it has been a tough year. And one that will definitely go down in the history books. The holidays are upon us and my heart recalls so many precious memories of family and friends throughout the years. I hope we can all persevere a little longer so we can see more of those celebratory times in the future.

This a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.
Maya Angelou

One Liner Wednesday is brought to us each week by Linda Hill. Check out Linda’s blog to see what others have to say with just one line.


Happy Thanksgiving

Day 49

Today is Thanksgiving. I, like most people, will be spending the day with family and friends.

Today I want to thank my online friends and those following along on this 365 day journey with me. I am thankful for your presence in my life. I appreciate you taking this journey along with me.

I hope today will find you celebrating the blessings in your life. You are among mine.

For those who are lonely or struggling, I hold you in my thoughts and prayers and hope you will be uplifted today.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!